Sometimes I wonder what compels me to take that weedy path, the one that’s overgrown because few people go there. Sometimes I tromp across a meadow that doesn’t have so much as a deer trail, just because I think there should be a path there, and darn it, someone’s got to be the first.
What is my problem? And more importantly, is this behaviour I would encourage in my kids?
I realize that I don’t take chances in everything I do.
Wonderful, stable marriage? Well-worn path.
Running for public office? Road less traveled.
Owning a minivan, carting kids around? Paved road with lots of traffic.
Trying to write novels for a living? Weedy path.
So what makes me decide it’s worth risking time/money/effort to pursue a goal (writing) that may end up snarled somewhere in a ditch?
The truth is that I agonized over that decision and still revisit it on occasion, as if I’m not finished with the agony just yet, needing to vex my conscience a little more. I’m relieved that Dark Omen wants to be a physicist first and a novelist on the side, even as I abet his dream by planning to upload his novel to smashwords so he can share it with his friends. I worry that Mighty Mite loves Hip Hop dancing more than math, even as I can’t resist putting up mirrors in the basement, turning it into his own private dance studio.
Do I really want to encourage them to be risk-takers, like Mom?
Never mind that it’s worked out well for me, most of my life. My mom says I lead a charmed life, that things seem to go my way. Maybe she’s right. Or maybe I make my own luck, by working hard to be ready when Opportunity comes knocking on my door. Either way, what seems like a calculated risk when I’m taking it, seems like crazy foolhardiness when it’s my children’s futures at stake.
So, I take a deep breath and whack down the tall grass in my way with a machete I won online (being at the right place at the right time) – and take the biggest risk of all: daring to be myself, even when the kids are watching.
Do you hope your kids will take the safe path or the road less traveled?