Last week Abby was feared lost at sea (if you've been under a rock breathe easy--they found her).
I admit my first reaction to this story was something along the lines of "What the heck are they thinking?!?!" She's too young. It's too dangerous. What poor examples of parents!
Indeed most critics have my same reaction. Now Abby's mom and dad must stand up to the very critical eye of a public who would blame them, who would flat out call them stupid and neglectful, for letting their daughter dare to reach her dreams.
As I researched this story I reflected on my dreams for my children. Madisen is very persistent--a negotiator with unparalleled skills. I'd love her to be an attorney. And Pax is so adventurous and loving. He'd make a great teacher. And my kids are so cute they could easily find spouses and settle down near us and raise sweet little families. This dream sounds so familiar. Wait! It's my life. An attorney, a teacher, and a couple of kids. I love my life. It's just want I want. But what if my kids want more? Will I encourage them or hold them back?
I'll admit that as a mom, I have a hard time thinking my kids might have dangerous dreams. Perhaps my biggest fear is that my kids' dreams will take them far away and have them living in dangerous places in dangerous times with dangerous people. But what if it is their God-given purpose that leads them? Should I hold them back for my sake? For safety's sake?
All this thinking has me wondering about when people are the "right" age to reach for their dreams. I mean, we tell our kids they can do and be anything. But at what age are we, as parents, supposed to start letting go and believing and trusting that they really CAN do and be anything? Is 18 okay but not 16?
For some reason an old Van Gogh quote keeps running through my mind: "The Fishermen know that the sea is dangerous and the storm is terrible but they have never found these dangers sufficient reason for remaining ashore." Perhaps not taking the risk is more dangerous than attempting to make a dream a reality.
What I think is I want my children to pursue their dangerous dreams. I want to hold them firmly with my hands wide open--protecting where and when I can but letting go (and letting God) when and where I can.
Borrowing from Oswald J. Smith, "I want your plan for my children's lives, God. May they be happy and contented in homeland or on foreign soil; whether married or alone; in happiness and sorrow; health or sickness; prosperity or adversity; safety or danger. I want your plan for my children. I want it. Oh, I want it!"
Was letting Abby pursue of her dream inspiring or foolish?
If you are stopping by from this week's IT list--thank you!
My friend Sarah said I remind her of a quotation from "Julie and Julia"--"I have thoughts; I can blog." Every Wednesday I blog my thoughts. Sometimes I get jeers; sometimes I get cheers.
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Date Your Husband (the first comment is from a man--not mine--and is hysterical!)