I think we always hope that our children will be the better version of who we are. While we dream that they are a somewhat recognizable copy, and that the core of their footprint in life is attributable to their upbringing, the desire to have them be all that they can be, and then some, is the universal parental hope.
The two questions I am often found asking myself are:
- Do my childhood dreams effect my parenting regardless of my children's gender?
- Do I feel that my childhood dreams should also be their dreams?'
For example, as a girl scout in my youth, a soccer player in my pre-teen years, and a cheerleader in my teens- 'do I hope that my daughter will follow in my path?' Not necessarily, those were different times, with fewer social activities; I opted in because they were available. What I do think I can pass along are those activities that are core to each of the activities; girl scouts inspired the ability to set and achieve goals; soccer taught team work and cheerleading was another form of team work, responsibility and commitment. At the age of five, my daughter opted out of girl scouts from the onset, but accelerated in school fund raising [check], for the past four years she has been an avid soccer player (and loves that we have both played on the same league) [check]. She is a far better athlete and player than I ever was, and boasts that she hopes to earn a scholarship by playing soccer; since she believes that there are not as many good female soccer players once you get to high school; and cheerleading, well she has chosen to do choreographed dance at every talent show performance to date, and it is due to my cheerleading routines that I've been able to help her [check].
With my 7 year old son, I am forever surprised that he would want to join the boy scouts, but he seems to love every club meeting and adventure [check]. He too loves to play soccer and is working his way towards the front of his pack [check]; and dancing well, he is master of inventing his own moves. He may not be the choreographed type, but he does have his own distinct style (the shrug, the attacker, the floor sweep), and insists that we go every year to the Mother-Son Dance so we have our own dance time when he can work on his latest dance moves [check].
I do believe that regardless of gender, I have instilled elements of my childhood dreams to our children. I'd like to believe that both Prima and Secondo are recognizable copies of their parents. Driven in their activities and relatively sociable. I hope that they will do whichever activities make them happiest, while selecting activities that continue to help them grow and learn.
About Gina von Esmarch: When Gina is not talking tech or winking at a Campari she can be found cooking North of the Golden Gate Bridge at www.bowllicker.com.