When my oldest daughter (daughter number 1) was six years old, she wrote in her writing journal, “My dream is I want to be a princess.” Above it was what I believed, and still do, an above her age level, artfully drawn crayon and pencil rendering of a grade A princess.
While her dreams of being a princess did not come true, I’m watching other dreams of hers slowly blossom in the light of her venture into adulthood. She plays cello artfully, is learning guitar at a pace I can only begin to contemplate, and she continues to sketch princesses and heroines of all shapes and sizes with depth and meaning that seems to surpass what’s possible with just pen and paper.
Ten years later, my almost five year old (daughter number 3) stumbled upon my first born’s writing journal, and found the princess page. Immediately she scampered off into my office to grab some crayons, sat down and went right to work drawing her own princess next to her sister’s. She says she would like to be “an underwater ballerina or the tooth fairy” when she grows up. Not quite a princess, but pretty close.
My first born will be in college soon, my third born just finished kindergarten. My first born has learned tough lessons about herself and the world around her. My third born still believes that the world is always just and good.
While there is still time to stand back and watch my third daughter try new things, find new interests, cultivate her loves and leave behind old things, I will always try my best to look back on a time when wishes were concrete, life was simple, and dreams were a chance to imagine fanciful things.
Before I know it, my six year old will be sixteen, I will wish for the days when I can wrap her small frame in my arms, while she dreams once again about being a princess… or an underwater ballerina… or the tooth fairy.