When You Grow Up

Encouraging a discussion about dreams with the kids is foreign to me. Nevertheless, I know that it is not my job to squash any of the kids’ dreams with harsh realities, but to guide them to make the right decisions by presenting facts as I know them. With a great deal of positive encouragement, of course.

Matthew has been going on about what he wants to be when he grows up for close to a year, and I am glad he has yet to change his mind about it. Megan recently had an epiphany too. Both of them now have their dreams and I am very happy for them.

It was opportune we were reading the book “A Bunny in the Ballet” by Robert Becks  the other night, and the topic about having dreams came up again. In this book, Becks writes about a (real) rabbit who dreams of becoming a ballet dancer, amidst humans. Undaunted by naysayers and training really hard (with the humans), she gradually wins people over and finally achieves the impossible. It wasn’t the best read, but it was a good conversation starter.

A Bunny in the Ballet

(Image taken from amazon.com)

Because having a rabbit in the human ballet world, albeit a talented one, is really quite impossible, I talked to the kids about achieving the impossible. I turned to Matthew and challenged him to not only become a chef, but to become the best.

And Matthew, with a rare glint in his eyes and a slightly excited voice, declared that he would want to become the best chef in Singapore. This is without us exlicitly teaching the kids about humilty. It must have been ingrained in our Chinese roots to be humble, for he didn’t declare he wants to be the best chef in the world, as I half expected.

Megan, of course not one to be left out, sat up on her heels and raised her arm straight in the air. In her excitement, she had slight difficulty in getting the words out. “So Megan is going to be the best dentist in Singapore?” I decided to help her.

“Yes!” She replied shyly, but with lots of twinkle in her eyes. I could not just leave it as that – I gave my two cents’ worth of reminder to them to work hard for their dreams, for nothing comes easy. And both of them nodded enthusiatically.

I was glad they did not ask me about my dreams in return, for I would be ashamed to tell them the truth. For now at least, I can revel in the satisfaction that when the kids grow up and I in turn grow old, I would have no lack of gastronomic delights. Best of all, I would not worry about my oral health as a result of the constant feasting.


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