This weekend, one of my close friends sent her eldest son off to college. She’s not the first one to do so among my friends and family, and surely there’s nothing out of ordinary in sending our kids to college, but hers is the first one that made me think and feel.
My friend's dream was for her son to pursue a career in medicine, to become a doctor or something in this line of business. Her son wanted to be a pilot. He was accepted in both faculties, which made things more interesting, as well as difficult.
To have a choice is a gift, to choose is a battle.
We’ve heard phrases like it’s their life, not yours more often than not. I’ve preached those words to others too. It’s easy to say them with only logic as the foundation of our thoughts; it’s not easy when our heart weighs in. It’s easy to dismiss the struggle when it happened to some strangers, it’s not so when it happened to a person we know, to a kid we know.
I can so imagine, if it were my kids, I would have definitely argued with them about their choices, pestering and brainwashing them, because letting go of my dream I have for them is hard, I don’t think I’ll ever be ready. I didn’t have this choice when I grew up, and as much as I vow not to take away those choices from my kids, I can’t shake this old-fashion parenting control off my brain.
That’s why what my friend did for her son is admirable and so inspiring.
At the end, she and her husband support their son’s decision to join the pilot school.
This is a HUGE deal.
Not only our society has a tendency to think that becoming a doctor or a banker is more prestigious than any other careers, but for a parent who has a reservation to flying, my friend’s blessing speaks VOLUME.
In her one single sentence, “This is the time to let him go so that he can catch his dream” my friend has won three battles:
- It’s a day-to-day battle to let our children go and be an adult. It’s especially hard when what we want is not the same as what they want, because it’s not just our kid we need to let go, but also our dream we have for them. It’s a constant battle to trust their choices and respect their decision without judgment or harassment because our instinct to take over and protect them is so strong, it’s nearly impossible to just sit and watch and nod.
- It’s a real battle to overcome our own fear and reservation.
- It’s a battle to accept and live our children’s dream as our own. It's the right thing to do, but it doesn't always come easy.
Which mother would not cry when her son said, “Please don’t cry. If God’s will is for me to become a pilot, then He will show me the way.” I can’t believe this was coming from an eighteen-year-old boy. I’m sure my friend’s tears have created another ocean in our planet no matter how many times her son told her not to cry.
I’m so proud of my friend. Believe me, not everyone is strong enough to do what she does, passing those three battles in flying colors and with an open heart.
I’m so proud of the boy, our future pilot, because not every kid is strong enough to know what they want and be able to stand there and comfort (not confront) his parents.
Good luck, boy. This is no longer your dream you’re carrying, but the dream of many young people out there who, I hope, would see your choice in life as an inspiration. Your dream is also the dream of every mother and father (not just your parents) who has put aside their egos and wants so that their children can live theirs.