Friday, April 23, 2010

Would That Really be the Worst Thing in the World?

?I had a strange conversation with my 6 year old daughter today. I can't for the life of me decide if I am okay with how this conversation ended. It was just weird, especially when you consider that I NEVER had anything like this discussion with my own mother, ever.

I know my daughter has lofty plans. Last year, whenever you would ask her what she wanted to be when she grew up, her answer was always,"I want to be everything". More power to ya, babe. I have always told her that she can be anything she wants, so I really liked her attitude about it.

This year, she is adamant about wanting to be a veternarian when she grows up. For 6 months now, that answer hasn't wavered. She loves animals and she wants to help them and take care of them as her career. I think she would be a fabulous vet, and I will do anything I can to encourage this lofty goal.

Today she told me that she is never getting married or having children. This kind of struck me as odd, since she has also told me before that she someday wants to be a mom. I am now wondering what changed her mind. I asked her why she doesn't want to get married someday, and she replied, "because I want to be a veternarian instead." So,now I am wondering if I have something to do with this attitude change. Does she look at me and think that you can't have children or a husband and have a career? I always thought I was being self-sacrificing and noble by staying home to take care of her and her brother full time, but instead did I give her a skewed view of how life works? And, even worse, is she sensing and responding to the deep dissatisfaction I felt with my life? Has my frustration and sadness about not having a car for almost 18 months taught her that to be a wife and mother is to be trapped? Is she trying to avoid becoming me?

Then, I figure that she is only 6 years old, and her opinions and attitudes will change many many times in the coming years, and she will probably change her mind many times about how she sees her life turning out. After I go back to work, she will be seeing a very different version of me, and her opinions will probably change accordingly.

But then, I wonder, do I even want her attitudes to change? Am I really believing that marriage and children is the only path to happiness. Would my beautiful intelligent daughter be just as happy as a single career girl. I know for a fact that my heart would break if she grew up believing that only through a guys love and acceptance would she have validation, but here I am worrying that she might miss out on that very experience. What the heck is wrong with me???

Daughters are hard. Especially in this ever changing and complicated world. I wish I knew exactly the right thing to say in every situation, but I really don't. So, I am letting her have her opinions. If she has decided right now that she never wants to get married, then I am totally on board with that. Whatever makes her happy.

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