How do we give children the space to dream and view the world with wonder?
As children, movies and TV shows often tell us that anything is possible if you believe in dreams.
As an adult, I have a nuanced view, because we don’t always get what we wish for – and that’s ok.
As a parent, I love watching T experience life in his light-speed fashion with wonder, optimism and fearlessness.
I want this attitude to grow but as he gets older, it is important to temper it with pragmatic optimism – or I’ll set him up for disappointment otherwise.
A library book he borrowed last week gave us a chance to chat about why it’s important to dream and the need to work for them.
Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield seems to be a recurring figure in our bedtime reading.
A few years ago, a friend gifted T “The Darkest Dark,” Hadfield’s children’s book based on his childhood. It helped T learn the dark is nothing to be afraid of.
The book “Meet Chris Hadfield,” is a non-fiction biography of Hadfield.
I pointed out to T it’s the same Chris from “The Darkest Dark,” except he’s a grown up and became an astronaut.
This book had a nice message about having dreams and to work for your goals.
I love the last paragraph in the book: “… Chris also reminds people that to reach your goals, you need to work hard and be prepared, so that you will be ready for whatever adventures are ahead.”
T and I chatted about what this means and I let him know that’s why we do all that extra reading and homework that he sometimes finds annoying. It helps him and his brain grow.
Being a pragmatic optimist, I am mindful that because of T’s FASD, he will have additional struggles in school, daily life, and work.
As to how FASD may impact him, all we can do is carry on as we already are: proceed with pragmatic optimism, accommodate his struggles, anticipate and plan for future challenges, adapt from his setbacks and celebrate his successes.
As adults, we know that the sky may not be the limit but it should never stop us from looking up with childlike wonder and reach for the stars.
“Listen, can you hear that distant calling
Far away, but we’ll be with you soon
Rocketing to outer space in orbit
Take us to the popstars on the moon…
Travel in light years…”– Light Years