I have a confession.
I watch almost no tv for normal grownups. One should expect that I watch more than my fair share of animated programs with two littles to entertain. But even so, you would think that after the kiddos headed off to bed I would finally find something a little less rated G and a little more OMG.
I got on a "Friends" kick during the deployment, but the only real reason that one took off (aside from the fact that it is completely hilarious) is because it plays on Nickelodeon, which is the channel my tv was usually on anyway.
I tell you this so that you won't judge me as I completely gush over my newest obsession, "Glee." OMGlee!
Last week, I was at the library trying to help my son find the Wiggle Safari DVD that he likes to rent out like every other week, and I found season 2 of Glee wedged between Homeward Bound and Yo Gabba Gabba. (Seriously, the movie filing system in that place needs a major overhaul, but that's neither here nor there.) I decided that if I had to be forced to watch The Wiggles wiggle yet again, I should finally check out a little something more grown up for me to watch to take the edge off at the end of the night. (Besides, I think I am on my tenth recycle of all the Friends episodes on Nick at Nite at this point anyway.) Plus, I like musicals. "This should be fun," I thought.
It really, really was. I finished the entire season in four nights, and I am terrified to look to see if the library has the other seasons--partly because if they do, I am going to neglect my school work indefinitely trying to watch them all--and if they don't, I might just fall into a panic attack not knowing when I'll get to watch another one.
Anyway, onto the main reason why this all matters to me...
I may have mentioned this a time or two before, but I love to sing. Madly. I remember sitting next to my sister on road trips and getting into so many fights because I wouldn't stop singing. Every single song that came on the radio I belted out at the top of my lungs. She would flip the stations and I would just pick up the new song right where it was at. Genre after genre. My poor sister. I didn't suck, but it probably would have been nice of me to shut up every once in a while :)
Even now, I find myself getting lost in the radio and only snapping out of my daydream when I finally hear my daughter screaming at me that her brother.......
Well, he did something. I wasn't really listening to what she said he did, because I was in the middle of my jam.
Watching this show has made me ache to sing. On a stage. Or in the middle of a school cafeteria. And with some super awesome choreography. I am not partial. That's why I've been settling for my shower--sans choreography because that just sounds dangerous.
I've always done a lot of daydreaming about singing and I still nurse the dream a little bit every day. Probably one of the reasons I can't shake my dream is because it is the one I neglected to chase--either because I was too chicken or because I felt it was too far-fetched. I sang in choirs. I did the occasional church solo. I even took lead in my highschool musical. But I never once made any serious effort to pursue the thing that I have always felt so strongly about.
There are certain conversations in life that bring you to a crossroads. Mine was with my mother. We were sitting in our car together outside of a school parking lot and she asked me if singing was something I wanted to pursue for the future. I told her I thought that chasing a singing career would be foolish without having an education and career plan as a fallback.
Now I am jobless and sing in the shower.
Obviously, it is too little too late to chase that dream--and that's okay for me, because I am living one of my other ones. I don't for one second regret the life I live now, but I think I do regret never even trying for a life I'd pictured myself in so often. I reached my crossroads and I put up a roadblock. My dream felt too big to chase so I shut it down with a single response and went the other way.
I think a lot of kids worry their parents would sneer at the idea of them chasing a singing career. That was never my parents. My mother was always such a wonderful supporter of my dream that I didn't even have to voice it. I remember her taking me as a child to audition for the musical "Oklahoma" and renting the movie to watch it with me so I could learn the music. She took me to concerts that most kids my age would have cared less about, and in doing so, made me a lover of disco music. (My dad has made me a lover of Journey, which is probably another reason I love Glee so much!) Both of my parents showed up for every single performance of my high school musical, which is saying a lot, because we weren't all that super. They believed in the dream maybe more than I ever did.
If I have learned anything from reflecting on my experience, it is that I want to be a parent like mine were. I want to help my children pursue their dreams big and small. But mostly, I want to encourage them to dream big. I want to teach them that the bigger a dream is, the longer it lingers in the back of their mind, and the more imagining themselves living that dream fills them with joy, the bigger duty they have to themselves to chase after it.
I never want their fallback plans to stunt their dreams.
Currently, my daughter wants to be a "princess soldier chef" and my son wants to be a Wiggle and a dinosaur. Dream big, babies. Dream big.