Today’s post isn’t about reading. It isn’t about writing. It’s about ruminating. Ruminating over the past 18 years.
My oldest son is now officially an adult. He turned 18 yesterday. I can’t believe it. I still remember lying in the hospital bed when my dad came into the room carrying a tiny pair of blue rubber boots and a mini fishing rod. “We’re going to be fishing buddies,” he said.
Well, they were fishing buddies at least for a few years, until Matthew became a vegetarian ’cause he loves animals too much to eat them. (That’s what he told me when he was 12, when he decided to become a herbivore)
And now my animal-loving, non-fishing, plant-eating, 18-year-old adult son is old enough to sign himself out of school whenever he wants to. (That’s what he told me last night, when the realization struck him. My 13-year-old daughter piped up then and said, “Yeah, and you can discipline yourself, too, for missing all those classes.”)
So today is my day for ruminating. My first child has hit a major milestone in his life. The last 18 years have been packed full of SO much it’s worth it to reflect on all of it. But what’s more important to me is to dream about the future: Just like I did when my now-semi-bearded son was born. But to be honest, not a whole lot of what I’d dreamed about back then has actually come true.
But that’s the beauty of life, if we can learn to appreciate it: Not all our dreams come true. Not everything is in our control. And sometimes that’s a good thing. I didn’t say it’s an easy thing. I mean, I’m just like the next person; if I believe in something I’ll work my can off to see it happen and I’ll be devasted if it doesn’t. But, for example, if my dreams for Matthew, 18 years ago, all came true, I wouldn’t have the exact son I have today. And I’d be missing out big time. Sure there are things I still wish he’d do, or become, but there is so much I love about that kid that I could never have dreamed up myself. Because even though dreams are amazing things, they are incomplete because they are limited to our own understanding. And anyone who is aware knows there is so much that lies outside of our own understanding.
But I keep on dreaming, even though my dreams may be limited. Even though my dreams may not come true exactly like I want them to. Even though my dreams may not come true AT ALL. I keep on dreaming. Why? Because even the most limited and incomplete dreams have hope for the future.