A Life of their Own

“The painting has a life of its own. I try and let it come through.”
Jackson Pollack (1912-1956), Us Modernist Painter

I saw this quote and it really resonated with me. I raised three daughters and each one is totally unique. My oldest is a driven, Type A personality. She is always looking for the next opportunity. Right now she is thinking about getting her second Masters degree: this one in School Administration. My middle one is more laid back in her lifestyle, but she is very competitive. Her competiveness served her well when she played soccer in college. Now she teaches 3rd grade and coaches soccer and loves every minute of it – well almost every minute. My youngest one is most like her dad. She has a quick wit and cares about everyone around her. Right now she is a nanny working on getting her teaching credential. That’s right – all three of them are in the teaching profession.

I will tell you honestly that this was not my first choice of a profession for any of them. As a former teacher I know how hard the job is, how little money is paid to teachers and how hard it is to be respected by parents. I had hoped for something a bit more “glamorous” for lack of a better word.

But to paraphrase the quote – children have a life of their own and my job, as a parent is to stand by and let it come through. My oldest went to college as an international business major. It looked like I had my wish – she was going into business where, yes she would have to work hard, but hopefully she would be paid for her work. But then – that “life of her own” emerged. She came to us in January of her senior year and told us that she wanted to be a Math teacher. What could we say – she had to do what needed to do. She graduated with that business degree and immediately started her Masters in Education. Today she is teaching middle school math. Not the road I would have chosen for her but it was the road that “came through” for her. Now, instead of a “glamorous” job she has a very rewarding one.

As parents, we have many dreams for our children. We want them to be happy, to find someone who loves them, to have a good job and be able to take care of themselves and give back to their communities. Sometimes those dreams come true. But what we really have to remember is that our children have there own dreams and as hard as it is, we need to step back and let their dreams and their life come through.

So… keep dreaming those dreams for your children, but in the same way Jackson Pollack lets the life of his painting come thorough you must always be aware and let the life of your child come through.

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