Many of us thought we did. Some were called to live out someone else’s dream. On the one hand this is a very good thing, for it brings focus to our lives early on. On the other, it may be misdirected as in the case where the parents seek to live out their dreams through their children. And, perhaps ignore signs of skills and talents that lie in a totally different direction. We find this in sports, economics, arts, and many other career choices.
There is a name for this decision, and logically so called; transference….. Planting our dream in someone else’s head.
For those who have parents or family traditions that we want to emulate, we see perfect examples of choices that seem almost genetic. For example, one would say; I came from a long line of whatever; pastors, musicians, farmers… and on. We are able to see a lifestyle, a dedication, already in play and determine to follow suit or not.
But, the seed that is planted without referencing the special skills or gifts of the individual can be very hard to grow when we are predetermined to be something entirely different. We may never get around to bearing the fruit God intended; or worse, waste a significant part of our lives. In may cases, a life can be split into two distinct arts, both being weaker as the result. We need to look for the fruit before it spoils.
We can say that more attention is being given to the issue as we seek to specialize and equip the young for specific tasks perhaps to the exclusion of some of the basic and important disciplines of the past,
What I am talking about is the role of the parent and others early in the process… even before formalized schooling. This involves close attention to the basic signs of predetermination on everyone’s part. And, it is a generational thing…. even grandparents must be involved.
While I can surely say we may have missed the boat with some of our children and others (or caught it several landings later); we have finally learned the importance of recognition in the formative years of 1-8. We are compelled to concentrate on this during the throws of our busy working lives, despite schedules, and the impact of outside teaching and social relationships.
This brings me to the point of our plan for five-year-old Eli and our considered approach to sharing the responsibility in those determinations. “We” being; Mom and Dad, two Grandmas, a Great Grandma, two Grandpas, and one Great (I would be the Great one). We will play zone, based upon our own personal experience and qualifications. The informal categories are; Making God part of the everyday, connecting with nature in all forms, basic farm machinery and tractor driving, physical development and sports, lap sitting and reading and communications skills. And, most important- because it is my duty; Imagination.
After two years of application, we have decided, based upon his phenomenal growth in all of these areas ( as well as all of us), that he will go into a private Christian Kindergarten, not as a student, but as a teacher. (I thought we were not going to do that!) We’ll see about first grade after we hit the books again, and try desperately to clean up our act.