"Likely as not, the child you can do the least with will do the most to make you proud." -Mignon McLaughlin
When my daughter gives me a Mother's Day card inscribed with a fertilized chicken egg, not only does my heart swell with pride, my mind wanders into the future. Will I someday point to this story when my child has just earned her PhD in biology of some sort? You just never know.
It's not easy to balance encouraging her interests with being overbearing about it. I think I slide easily to the other side of the spectrum, the hippie in me wants to tell her she can be whatever she wants to be, that it doesn't matter to me at all. But in tiny little corners of my heart, it matters a little. And I don't want to fail to support her in whatever catches her fancy in the name of freedom.
But I really don't want to be one of those parents who will be happy with nothing less than a brain-surgeon/olympic skiier/CEO/astronaut child. And it's not really in my personality to be so, I don't think. I learned too well from my parents how freeing it is to have parents who believe in you but aren't trying to set you on one course or another.
You know, though, my kid is totally smart and able enough to be the President, or whatever. I just have to keep encouraging whatever she's interested in, the best I can.