My children weren't around during my college years to see the hard work of obtaining an education, but they will be around to see other hopes and dreams achieved. By following our example, I hope they will be equipped to believe that they can, indeed, do anything they put their minds to. What tools will we give them? Three simple things: a community, a plan and lots of hope.
"A Blueprint for Their Dreams":
Community: You can't do it alone. If I've learned anything from having children it's that I need a community of support and if someone offers help, I accept it! I hope they will see by our example that we welcome help and value the wisdom and experience of others. If my daughter decides that she wants to become a scientist, then we will help her seek out her tribe. Science club at school? Sign us up! Free classes at the library? We're there! Science summer club? We're in! Ten years after graduating college, I could still count on a kind professor who remembered me for recommendation letters- she is part of my success and part of my achievements. Achieving your goals means building a support system around you to ensure your success and to help if you stumble along the way.
Planning: Dreams don't happen by chance. They happen by hard work and determination. My husband and I have always had many travel dreams and even though they are on the back burner for now, I believe that we will find a way to do what we love with our three kids. In order to save money and prepare our schedules for travel (South America? Africa? Hawaii?), it's going to take planning out a calendar and talking dollars and cents. Our dreams are not going to happen overnight. It might take three years, but I believe that we can do it. Following your dreams can feel unattainable at times, but the truth is- anything is possible! Having a plan makes your dream feel more concrete and less ambiguous, and I hope our children will experience this alongside of us.
Hope: We are definitely a "glass is half full" family. With a positive outlook and realistic steps, dreams do come true! I believe this in my heart. They might learn failure along with all of this, and that's ok, too. Sometimes a different or even better opportunity can come from a failure. Learning happens on the journey to where we are going, but you've got to take steps and try. Otherwise, you might never know what wonderful things were out there waiting for you! A simple plan, confidence, and a first step is all you need.