Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Into the Pensieve, V

One of my mother's favorite authors is Erma Bombeck. I find it coincidental that I ended up living where she lived for many years. Thanks to Mom's influence, I've quoted Erma for a long time. In fact, one of her quotes sits below my signature line of my personal email:
There are people who put their dreams in a little box and say, "Yes, I've got dreams, of course I've got dreams." Then they put the box away and bring it out once in awhile to look in it, and yep, they're still there.
I've been doing a lot of reflecting on Bombeck's quote lately because for a long time, I said to myself, Mom had dreams. I know she did. But she stuck them in that box and never did anything with them. I'd fault her for not having the courage to follow her dreams, all while spouting that we were to follow ours. And with each step I took, with each decision I made, I'd say to myself, I'm doing what my mother didn't. That has to mean something, right? And no matter what happened, I tried my best to make those dreams come alive.

Am I living the dream? In many ways, yes and in other ways, not yet. But that's not my point here. My point is that along the way to making sure my dreams didn't stay locked in a box, I realized quite a bit about my mother and her so-called box of dreams.

What I realized is that most mothers, including mine, make sacrifices. Those sacrifices can vary depending on the circumstances. Some moms might never get the last strawberries in the bowl while another mom might not eat anything that night so her child can. A mother might forgo her favorite latte so that she can buy her child a treat. Another mom might not purchase a new dress so her child can buy a favorite pair of shoes. The list goes on and can encompass a variety of sacrifices, something I think I knew already.

But what I didn't think to stop and consider is that some moms might sacrifice their dreams for their children.

Is my mom in that boat? Did she have dreams that never came to fruition because her three girls came along first? I'll probably never know. But I'd like to think that Mom never just tucked her dreams away because she didn't know how to accomplish them or she didn't have the support system to do so. That thought is too plain sad to dwell on.

Perhaps the next time I see her, I'll ask her about her list of dreams. Maybe we can try to tackle a few of them before it's too late.

Image: Your dreams can take you anywhere (Paula Danielse, Getty Images)


Daveler said...

For a long time I didn't understand Pipe Dreams, and when someone told me they wanted to do something, I thought they meant it. Not pursuing dreams scared me, and it took me a long time to realize that, for some people, having dreams in a box to look at is far more useful than actually achieving the dream itself. Sometimes I look at someone who is older who hasn't done what they claimed to want to do, but then I start to understand that having the fantasy is what makes them happy when actually obtaining it might not. Makes me feel better.

Christina said...

That's a good point. If I remember that, then I, too, might feel better. Thanks for reading and commenting.