Just a few days ago I received an email about some beautiful baby photo contest. You know, the kind you send a photo in and the judges decide if your baby has what it takes to be discovered by baby talent models (Seriously? My baby can drool and look cute, is that considered talent? Yes? Well hell, I can drool too, wanna see?)
In a weird way, I was flattered that I received that SPAM email. I wanted to write back and say, "Why yes, thank you for asking I DO have a beautiful baby. Headshot? Well, there is this one in a pelican cut out..."
Being the creep that I am, I began to day dream about what our life (I mean Kate's life) would be like if she DID win, if she WAS discovered. It would start with us jet setting across the country for various photo shoots, progressing into commercials and finally a feature film or maybe she could star in a Disney show, because I'm positive she is musically inclined in addition to cute. I would be her manager, despite knowing nothing about the industry (because that is just how it is done) and we would be deliriously happy. That is, until Kate started feeling the pressure of Hollywood, and got an eating disorder/drug addiction/miniature chihuahua and then fell into the wrong crowd.
I immediately deleted the beautiful baby email.
But that isn't the first time I've dreamed about Kate's future. Even before she was born, Ben and I would come up with scenarios for the amazing things she would do in her life. We discussed what sports she would play (tennis -- her height will be an advantage), where she would go to college (anywhere she wants since an academic scholarship is likely) and what she might be as an adult (maybe a vet or a lawyer).
We discussed all these ideas with excitement and hope. But my real hope is that Kate will have the strength and desire to be and do whatever it is that makes her happy, despite what Ben and I want for her. Too often I believe parents pin their missed opportunities, standards and unfulfilled dreams on their kids. I can see how this is easily, and accidentally done. When all you want is the best for your child, the best is probably what you yourself couldn't or didn't achieve. I hope that I allow Kate to see the world and the possibility of it through her own eyes and not mine.
And so, Kate my love, consider this my blessing to be, to do, whatever you want in life, as long as you do it with passion, with grace, with morality and with pride.
PS: Kate, you know I don't mean eating candy for dinner, so don't even consider throwing this back in my face some day little miss.
PPS: Mom and Dad, you know you have been nothing but supportive of my life choices, so I love you and thank you for being the kind of parents I hope to be. Although when I was younger I wanted to be a trash man so I could drive that big garbage truck and you didn't really nurture that, so hmmmmmm....