My two boys, in seventh and eighth grade respectively, recently had to fill out a profile questionnaire that would help map out their future. There were questions about goals they have for the next five years while in high school, in addition to what their interests presently are. There were also questions about where they wanted to be in ten years. They both looked at me wide-eyed, asking for help in figuring it all out and couldn’t believe I wouldn’t answer the questions for them. They were upset that I, their mother, who has directed them all their life didn’t have the answers about their future. Each asking, "Mom, what do I put for my goals?"
What I wanted to say was, “How the hell do I know?”
But, that wouldn’t have been productive, so I just told them to think about what they have an interest in now and work with that. Apparently, that was too broad too. Naturally, it got me thinking about all the plans I had in my high school days. I knew where I wanted to go to college. I knew what I wanted to study. But, most of all, I knew I wanted to do what I wanted. Isn't that the way it works?
The Husband and I learned rather quickly that even the best laid out plans change from moment-to-moment, especially once I became pregnant with our first child. My world was in a tailspin during that time and to save my sanity and marriage, a change in strategy was necessary. We packed up everything and moved across the country. That’s when I realized the necessity of becoming malleable with life and have made efforts to not hold on too tightly to future plans. Yes, I know I have control of my destiny…blah blah…and, I’m all too happy for those whose plans work out perfectly. All I’m saying is that the long term goals didn’t happen for us, or the short term really. And, I’m good with that…mostly.
My fear, however, is that my kids may have inherited their parent’s fly-by-the-seat-of-the-pants attitude. They know what they want to do today, yet can’t fill out a form that details what they want to do after high school. And to be fair, that has to seem like a million years away, especially if you’re measuring with the basic teenager’s exaggeration scale. I’m thinking that what they don’t realize is that they’ve also inherited their parent’s justifiable fear of planning too far down the road. (Yes, reasonably justifiable.)
I always thought I would easily be able to direct my boys on where to go to college, which fields to study, and most definitely which girls to marry (Gigi is going to be a nun, so no worries there). I simply can’t do it. It's too much to process for myself, much less them. I honestly want them to find something they're passionate about and go with the flow. If all goes as planned, perfect. However, if not, I want them to be okay with changing it - after they call their parents to see if it's okay.
Kidding . . . mostly.
My photo adventures in Florida