By: Carolina Pichardo
Like any parent, I always think about what my daughter’s going to be when she grows up.
That’s why I listen attentively when she describes her dreams of becoming a doctor, teacher, chef and even the superhero that she created—Everything Girl. It wasn’t until she declared her recent real dream, about becoming a soldier, that everything switched for me.
What do you do when your child wants to become something that you never expected?
As she described her goal of protecting people and taking away the evil stuff from the world, I couldn’t help but think about how I could change her mind. But she seemed set on this. “Besides,” she said with all the confidence of a nine-year-old, “they dress much better than the police.”
I realized then that this was her dream for now, as well as the freedom/liberty that Martin Luther King Jr.’s speech and march granted her.
Who was I to take that away?
Although I hope this is only a phase, it’s also a harsh reminder that she’s not going to be everything that I want for her. She’s going to live her life the way she wants, with only the values that I’m able to teach her to carry her there.
It was then that she noticed the hint of disappointment in my face: “Oh, a soldier… But what about your dreams of becoming a chef?”
I wanted to remind her of the other dreams that she had before; the safe and beautiful ones that she re-enacted constantly.
She paused for a minute—and I was so happy to see that she was still considering it—and then said: “Yeah, I think I’ll be a chef for the army. So I’ll keep practicing that too.”
With that she continued to talk and describe what she’ll do when she grows up; her dreams of her future, and in a way, the future of this world.