My Footsteps?

When I was younger I wanted to be an astronaut. Specifically, I wanted to be Sally Ride. I remember checking out an old, worn book from the school library that chronicled the life of this amazing female astronaut. I remember thinking 'How cool that a girl is doing what is usually just for boys!' Maybe I was a feminist long before I knew what that word meant.
As I got older and discovered the joy of keeping a diary, I moved beyond literal space travel and discovered a love of writing my own version of adventures and travels. I knew from that moment that writing would be a part of my life somehow. I thought maybe this would include writing books or even editing a major daily newspaper. Either way I felt the power of words and clung to them through all the ups and downs of adolescence.
I'll admit that this writing dream was momentarily put on hold in junior high school as I developed my plan to move to Boston to be close to the New Kids on the Block. But, I quickly got back on track when I realized the band broke up and I discovered the flesh and bone boys of my own adolescent existence.
Now that I am a mother to 3 young children I wonder if I want them to follow in my footsteps. The truth? Not really. Do I want them to inherit my organizational nature, my love of animals, and my ability to cook a mean lasagna? Sure. But, I want them to have the freedom to discover their own paths. I want them to find their own passion and see where it can take them. Maybe my daughter will cling to her love of art and someday own a gallery. Maybe my son will take his obsession with sea creatures and actually become an oceanographer. Maybe my youngest really will find a way to be a princess when she grows up.
No matter the path they choose, I want them to feel like they have the support and love that our family and home are rooted in. I also want them to feel confident spreading their wings and discovering all the joys that the world holds for them. In many ways from the moment they are born we are preparing them to leave and take their own world by storm. As long as get a postcard or a phone call along the way I'm happy to let them make their own footprint in the world.
Of course my 6 year old currently plans to move to Canada to be near Justin Bieber so maybe some of my footsteps are destined to be repeated!
Neena is a blogger, mother of 3, and full-time PhD student. She blogs about her adventures and misadventures at hooey!critic