Saturday, June 06, 2009

Great Expectations

Great Expectations

When I was born, my father went out of his way to look for a name that was pronounceable in every language in the world. He had high expectations for his new baby girl: someday she would be Prime Minister of Canada! He had my life all planned out. After high school I'd take accounting while working as a bank teller during my school holiday, and once I'd gotten my degree I'd work in the industry, enter into federal politics and then get elected to the highest office in the land.

This is strange because when my brother was born, my father decided his son would become a television repair man. Or a carpenter. Well, unfortunately his dreams did not come true. Growing up I wasn't the least interested in politics, and while my brother did briefly work as a TV repairman over the school holidays, he eventually decided to go to university and become an engineer. While my brother was wildly successful in the computer industry, I became a housewife right after I got my Marketing degree, had kids and never had a career. I just did a lot of volunteer work with children. What I really should have done was study religion, or go to Bible College, because that's where my interests lay, but as my parents pointed out, where was the money in that? I now realize I should have just gone with my passion.

With my kids I was determined not to decide their future for them. I figure that if they can just follow their interests they will do well, no matter what field it is in. Being practical instead will only end up being a dead end for them and they will probably end up doing what they wanted to in the first place, only when they are much older and when learning is much harder. So, while I'm glad my father had such high hopes for me, I feel I should have accomplished much more in life than I have. My brother who achieved way more than he was supposed to also feels sad because he also felt he had let his father down somehow. I guess the moral of the story is, sure, have high expectations for your kids, but let them decide what they are going to try to succeed at!

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