Gloria (not her real name) had a dream: to be a movie actress like Vilma Santos.
Unfortunately, a series of unfortunate events prevented her from pursuing her obsession until marriage finally wrote finis to her dream.
When she had a daughter of her own, she was determined to fulfill her dream through her child. She hired a private acting coach for Gloria Jr. and spent much of her time telling her daughter how wonderful it was to be an actress.
Every summer, Gloria would lug her daughter to many movie studios and advertising agencies for videotaping. She also had tons of photos of her daughter in various costumes and poses.
Gloria Jr., however, neither had the looks nor the acting talent of her mother. She also loathed what her mother had been trying to ram down her throat. But as a dutiful daughter, she went along with her mom's plans—for years.
One day, a brutally frank talent scout told Gloria, “Sorry, 'Day, but I don't think your daughter has an ounce of acting talent.”
Gloria cursed; Gloria Jr. rejoiced.
After finally realizing the futility of it all, Gloria asked her daughter, “If you can't be an actress, what is it you want to be?”
Gloria Jr., now 15, replied brightly, “An architect!”
We can’t live our dreams through another person, not even if she is our own child. Each of us is made differently, given different gifts through grace.
Looking back, I am grateful to my parents for not imposing their dreams on me. My dad was a lawyer and my mom was a pharmacist, both active in politics. I am into the arts; not interested in any political post. That's precisely why today I am doing what I like best: writing.
Like Gloria, who learned her lesson well (albeit slowly), may we remember this about our children:
"Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one's youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them! He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate." Psalm 127:3-5 (ESV)
(A portion of this post has been excerpted from my book, “Circle of Compassion,” published by OMF Lit in 2013)