A long time ago, when “Veronica Mitchell” was blogging at Toddled Dredge instead of her current eponymous location, she wrote a post about the types of characters that are portrayed in young adult literature. It begins: “On Pern, parents exist to crush their children’s dreams.”
It’s a great post. I recommend it.
As a novice parent and blogger, I commented on that post. included in that comment was this line: “Sometimes we have to crush dreams before the dream crushes our children.”
Veronica recently reminded me of that comment and challenged me to make an “inspirational poster” of it, which I promptly did, posted on her facebook page, and forgot about.
Until this evening.
Tonight for bed time story one of my doodles chose “The Berenstain Bears Go to School” which is all about Sister Bear’s introduction to Kindergarten. I can almost recite it, I’ve read it so much. At the end of it, I turned to my mackerdoodle and said, “So, what do you think about going to Kindergarten next year” Her face lit up and she answered, “Yeah! Would I be helping out?”
Juggling a sleeping toddler and wide awake infant, I thought I had misheard her so I asked her to repeat herself. Her clarification was, “At Kindergarten. Would I be helping the teacher? To teach things? At Kindergarten, mama?”
“No.” I responded, admirably not laughing. “You would not be helping out.”
“Then WHAT would I be there for?” She asked.
She could think of no possible explanation for her presence in Kindergarten except as a teacher’s aide. I crushed that dream right there – gently and with grace, but still crushed.
Now, Veronica’s post was correct in its concerns that as long as we portray to young adults that all parents every where are kill joys who would rather amputate their hand than let them play the harp, we are feeding the narcissistic angst of our culture and breeding unbiblical parent/child relationships.
However, to be good parents, sometimes we have to reach out and crush our children’s unrealistic and idolatrous ideas of themselves. My mackerdoodle needs to understand that she has a lot to learn, and she hasn’t achieved the role of teacher yet. She will get there, but not at five. Right now, she has to be a student before she can be a teacher. I would be setting her up for failure, disappointment, and ultimately a sinful view of herself if I didn’t love her enough to crush her dream of being a 5 year old teacher’s aide.
So with that in mind, I offer to you my hastily composed inspirational poster. I’m willing to bet it doesn’t catch on in pinterest, but I stand behind it.