This past Sunday I mentioned a children’s book It came in the Mail. It celebrates the arrival of the mail and the trauma of finding an empty mail box – Darcy and I always check the mail after reading it. But the story begins when the little boy is hit with an idea, the light bulb bouncing off his head.
Ideas bounce into my mind all of the time. Some are useless, for instance I struggle every time our mail arrives. The mail mobile is driven not by the expected mailman, but a mail-lady. I have no problem with a lady delivering the mail – I want my three girls to know they can do anything. It is the term itself. My brain doesn’t think in letters, but images and sounds. Voiced in my head, “mail-lady”, is an oxymoron.
But part of keeping possibilities open is keeping my ideas inside. On the way to the Royals, game, Darcy announced she wants to be a teacher, rather than play for the Royals. My first thought was that as a girl she could not play for the Royals (plus – as my daughter – her genes, not just gender, would hold her back!). Rather than saying all this, I asked, why? “Well, if I played for the Royals, I would be the only girl.”
I never want to limit my girls (or Ezekiel). Far from limit, I want them to know even the sky is not the limit. Yet my mind is filled with limiting ideas. Practical. Logical. In the same breath, “You can do anything” comes “Except…”
Just the other day Ivy and I were talking about Uranus – her favorite planet. We looked up details about its crazy rotation and low temperatures. She talked about going there, but I mentioned distance, “I doubt anyone will get there in our lifetimes.” What?! Practicality has its place – like with spelling tests. But it has no role in dreams. Somewhere between “do anything” and “except” I became the oxymoron.
So it is often best just to keep my mouth shut in order to allow ideas of rockets and baseballs and sharknados to hit little minds. Rather than declare the adventure empty, I can be amazed as the ideas bounce around to create the impossible. In the end, more than dreams, I will be celebrating my children’s arrival.