I have been reading a lot of wishes and letters to children recently and they have got me thinking. I know it’s a serious concept for a Tuesday, but I wanted to share with you where my thoughts have sent me about the future.
Almost from the first day I met my little Pumpkin, all squishy and red faced and tiny, I have been in the habit of dreaming about her future.
Although I will confess to you, my friends, that I am careful not to imagine Pumpkin’s future in too much detail as I have a superstitious idea in my head that if you enjoy something a little too much before it actually happens, then you might not get the chance to enjoy it for real – my version of not counting my chickens before they hatch, I suppose.
Anyway, I used to walk her around in the night to soothe her and talk to her about all the things she could be and do (at 3am, this could be a wide variety, particularly if I was too sleep-bedazzled and it became a bit of a monotonous, incoherent drone along the lines of, “you could be a driver…or a drone… or a drumstick…or a dragonslayer…or a droobleface…or a doorstop….or a knucklesandwich…or a… zzzzzz”).
I tried to think about all different varieties of things, from a scientist to a plumber to a beauty therapist to an artist to an entrepreneur. And everything in between.
Nowadays I also find myself wondering if little Pumpkin will end up with a talent or a lifelong hobby for dancing, drawing, singing, gardening, skiing or travelling.
And watching her already mammoth personality grow and grow, I also wonder what kind of person she will become. A carer, nurturer? A leader or follower? A selfish person or one who is considerate and kind? A bully or a victim? Of course, I know what I would like her to be. But that has got me thinking:
Pumpkin is a precious human being who has ended up in my care through a random set of genetic and environmental circumstances. As her mother, I am responsible for her care, her upbringing and to an extent, for her successful integration into society.
But does that give me the right to decide her future? I want so much for her, but I wonder if these wants will affect the way I bring her up, the way I treat her – and is that fair to her? I’m restricting her endless set of possibilities every day, just by being around her.
Oh rabbits, I don’t know. Maybe I’m just wittering away foolishly with no real point to make. But I’m going to try for something: I’m going to cherish every moment I have with Pumpkin. I’m going to remember them and record them and savour them – and keep them safely in the past. And I’m going to (at least try to) not think about her future – I will leave it for Pumpkin to imagine and dream and to make that dream a reality.
So that’s my gift for you today, little darling Pumpkin: your future. It’s all yours, and I can’t wait to see what you do with it. Xxxx
PS thanks for putting up with my waffle. This may be the cold and flu medication talking.