The Politically Incorrect Mom


Monday, December 18, 2006

A Girl's Gotta Dance...

Dreams are great. Do you remember what you wanted to be when you grew up? I do. I have a good life, but I'm not living my dream. My "dream" just wasn't in the cards - nobody's fault...just not as fate would have it.

I just spent the weekend with my girls in New York City and found myself discussing what they see for their futures. I couldn't help noticing how much they're like I was at their ages and how different their own dreams are from what I wish for them. It's not always easy, but I do my best not to ever discourage them, even when their dreams seem a tad on the unrealistic side...and scare the heck out of me.

It doesn't hurt that we were in what I've found to be one of the most magical cities in the country. Every time I visit, I wonder how the people of New York get such a bad rap. Ok, ok...put them in a car and they're maniacs....but otherwise - New York City has some of the most wonderful people on the planet living in it and if you're looking for something great to do during the holidays...or any time of year, should consider New York. You'll never be sorry you did.

As my daughters discussed how they both want to move to NYC and pursue completely different career paths, which of course include living brilliant, glamorous lives... I wondered how many times they would change their minds before they actually reached their goals and I thought, "what a wonderful, terrifying dream". But I never said it out loud.

It was friends of my parents who first took me to New York City when I was 11 years old. My parents were wildly opposed to any of their children ever setting foot in the city of sin. Seems they lived there early in their marriage (long before I came along) and according to them - Satan himself lives there.

I was terrified when I arrived (remembering all the horror stories my parents told me about the filth and crime I could expect). Before long, however, I found myself at awe that I hadn't contracted some terrible disease or been mugged in the first 15 minutes and that what I was seeing/experiencing was actually quite wonderful.

During my first trip I visited China Town, went to the top of the Empire State Building and then visited a place that I thought about every single day for the next several years... Radio City Music Hall.

I will never forget the way I felt - sitting in the very center of the orchestra level at a summer matinee. I never wanted that show to end and when it did...I decided right then and there....if I never did anything else, I had to be a Rockette (go ahead...laugh...)

I went home with my Rockettes poster and hung it on the wall next to my bed. When I told my mother and sisters about my career plans, they (in typical form) mocked me and reduced me to tears, but that didn't deter me from dreaming about my future as a Radio City Rockette. I remember thinking....if I have to hitch hike to New York City the day I graduate from high school....I will be a Rockette. And so it went for the next 4 and a half years. All I dreamed of was getting out of smalltown USA and finding my niche as a high-kicking glamour girl with feathers on her head. Of course I stopped telling people about it in order to avoid being humiliated, but I practiced daily (I was a gymnast, not a dancer) and eventually taught myself to kick my own nose.

And happened. The day my dreams were crushed...

I was in grade 10. I waited in line for my cheerleading physical (this was back in the days when the doctor came to the school and performed physicals on-site and free of charge for anyone involved in a sport). When it was my turn, Dr. George (a gnarly old guy who scared the b-jesus out of me) said the words that changed my life. After taking a number of measurements, he said,

"You're 5'4" and that's all the taller you're going to get".

"What??? NO!!! That can't be! Measure again! How do you know I'm finished growing??? I could grow some more, right? Right? Right????"

Sadly, scary old Dr. George was correct. Well, for the most part. I did manage to put on another half inch over the next few years, but I was never to be the minimum 5 feet 6 inches required to be a Rockette. I was devastated.

Yeah - go ahead and laugh. It was pretty daggone real to me.

So, what's my rant? Just this...

Let your kids dream. If your kid says he/she wants to be a prima astronaut...a race car driver...or a brain surgeon...tell them they can do anything they want. As Nationwide says..."Life comes at you fast." If their dreams are silly - let them figure it out on their own. Soon enough they'll be going to college, talking about marriage, mortgages and children of their own. Maybe they'll go into the family business...but maybe...just maybe...they'll get to do what THEY love. Not everybody gets to do that, but those who are discouraged from their dreams seldom do.

Oh, and one more thing. If your daughter comes home and says she wants to be a Rockette...for God's sake - give the kid growth hormones!!!!

What do you want to be when you grow up?


Post a Comment

<< Home


Web Counter
Hit Counter
Since August 1, 2005

And one last teeny tiny detail...
This web site and all contents are the property of The Politically Incorrect Mom.
Use of contents without permission is strictly forbidden.
Please contact The Empress of this page for permissions.
Copyright 2005