She doesn’t want fancy clothes or toys. She wants to do things. More and more, and more exciting things. The first words she learned to speak, after the obligatory “maa”, was “What are we doing next?”. She was born with this innate horror of boredom and tedium which most of us perfect by the time we’re fourteen. The horror of not having anything to do, the mental anguish of being at a loose end. Not a dreamer, my princess, but a want-er and a do-er.
So she does things. My greatest fear of poverty is not that I’ll become homeless or won’t have enough to eat, but how I’ll support all her activities. And make room for some more.
She enjoys them all. In all these years, I haven’t had her in a class that she didn’t love. She rushes out of classes crying: “That was awesome! My teacher is SO GOOD! I love it!” Which is why I don’t grudge a cent, I freely and happily write checks and swipe cards for art, skating, dancing, piano, martial arts, swimming …
These are the easy ones. Keeping her occupied keeps us occupied too, and we rise to challenge of finding skates, art equipment, helmets, all the taking, bringing and scheduling. It shapes and plans out our life for us. What else have we to do? I can’t see that we are missing out on a Nobel peace prize or anything.
But now I am getting a bit worried. She has started wanting to do things which are not available in the local gym or community centre. Like star in a Harry Potter movie. “How do you become a film star, mom? I really want to be in a Narnia movie! Those kids have so much fun!”. So we had a discussion about why becoming a scientist is a much more viable career option than becoming a film star and acting. But she wasn’t convinced. Last night, after watching her favorite show, she declared “I’ll become a fashion writer then. And work in a fashion magazine!”
So, she is learning that mommy and daddy can’t give her everything she wants, no matter how hard they try. It’s a hard lesson, both for us and for her. To realise that a lot of life, after you grow up, and for those who are not super-talented or super-wealthy is simply boring, and that there is not much you can do about it. You will not star in any Harry Potter film, and you’ll be lucky to have a house and job.
There is time yet, for her find out. Let her enjoy the wonders of the local community centers while she can.