The color of her eyes


They had no way of knowing the color of her eyes; she wore them closed most of the time. So when the left one accidentally cracked open, they were stunned to find a rainbow.
Susan Mrosek

My children have been in park district plays for the past seven years. It all started with Emily, my girl who has always loved acting. I’ve volunteered, purchased the overpriced DVDs, bought flowers, and saved every play-bill ever printed.

For each play the kids have filled out a short bio about themselves, which is published in the play-bill.

When it came time for my second daughter Faye to join I was excited. (Practice is every Saturday morning from 9-1130. The more of my children that join, the better) At the end of her first season, just before opening night, we sat down to fill out her bio.

I typed down age, grade and asked the first question.

What do you want to be when you grow up?

I want to be a mom, she answered.

Well, I mean before that.

I don’t know. I just really want to be a mom.

Interesting. That’s great Faye. But let’s think of a profession that you have to go to college for to write in the play-bill.

Ok, well I guess I’ll just say teacher.

Great. Good pick Faye. I was a teacher. You clearly need an education for that job. Let me just type that in real quick, give you an award-winning smile of approval, and send it to print.

I’ve done that for three years. Then in December, when she started throwing out the most random answers like vet, race car driver, famous singer, I asked her why she was picking all these professions that she’s never mentioned before. Guess what she said?

Well I really want to say be a mom, but I think you want me to pick something else to be first.

Ouch.

What is wrong with me? I believe motherhood is the most important thing I have done. In no other area of my life have I tried to learn and grow and be the best that I can be. (still working at it by the way) And yes, education is very valuable, so it’s not like I was suggesting that she smoke crack.

Yet none of that is relevant. What I did was tell my child that her inner dreams and heart’s desires weren’t really good enough for print. I’ve been teaching her the worst lesson a mom can teach. Don’t trust yourself. Hide what’s really in there and put on something that presents better in public.

And I know that a lack of trust doesn’t come naturally to Faye because she is a child with her eyes naturally open that shoot cascades of color and beauty over all those around her. Confidence carries itself on her shoulders with ease.

But now she’s not so sure that the dream she has carried with her since she was 18 months old and received a baby brother, is worthy. She’s not sure it’s good enough.

As a woman, I spend a lot of time second guessing myself. I’m overcoming it. I don’t want that to continue into the next generation.

Yesterday she had a writing assignment to create a job listing for whatever job she would love to have.

She paused.

I can’t really think of anything I want to be besides a mom.

You know what Faye, I replied, I think that’s a really great job. Let’s write it just like you dream it baby girl.