I would like to think that I will be able to handle anything my children want to do, be, or believe. (I am using the Oxford comma intentionally. Suck it.) If they want mohawks and nose-rings, fine. Hair grows back and most holes close. If they want to wear Letterman jackets and do chest bumps, fine. I can attend umpteen million varsity games and pretend not to be annoyed by the cheerleaders. If they want to be cheerleaders, fine. I can pretend to not be annoyed by them and will learn to love the weird head bob. Currently, the only thing I can think of that would piss me off- so of course this is what will happen- is if they come home asking to tote guns everywhere while screaming slurs and tattooing swastikas on their sweet little bodies. That is going too far.
I think about all the things that my husband and friends and I were discouraged from. All the things our parents sneered at and judged. All the ways in which we felt inferior and less than. I fear that we will do the same to our babies, despite our best intentions. I don't ever want my boys to feel like they have to "man up" or be better than a 4.0. I don't want them to try to fit some mold that wasn't built for them. I want them to be happy. To appreciate the gifts they have and to enjoy the things they love. But I know I will push them. I know that, out of fear, I will probably drive them to be sensible and to do the things that will provide back-up if their dreams aren't fulfilled. What if they love to sing, but can't carry a tune? What if they yearn to play baseball, but can't throw past first base? What if they want to be an aerospace engineer, but aren't great at math? Then what? Do I tell them they can do whatever they want to do, or do I try to reason with them and tell them that, although they have a deep love for acting, the fact that they are unwilling to do so in front of an audience will likely hold them back?
I really do want them to be happy. I want them to know that they are capable of so much and that I believe in them. I want them to have faith in my faith in them. But I know they won't. I know that at some point I'll do something to break their little spirits... and that kills me. I just hope that before that happens, I can convince them that it's okay if they want to dress like David Bowie or Prince. That I honestly don't care if they have boyfriends or girlfriends. That if they want to go to church, or never to go church, it's fine. That they CAN be break-dancing, fire-fighting, ukulele-playing, geniuses if they really want to be. And that I will love them and support them no matter what.