Whose Dream is it Anyway?

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Saturday afternoons from October through February would often find me in the basement of our 1 ½ story house in suburban Richfield, MN. Poised in front of a Minnesota Gopher basketball game, I continually made my best attempt to emulate one of the best sportscasters I had ever heard, Ray Christensen. With the golden tones of a 14 year old, I grabbed the attached microphone and spoke fervently to an imaginary listening audience, captured on an old flip-up tape recorder. I knew the lingo and every name of every player in the Big 10 conference. All the while I dreamed of one day being the voice of the Minnesota Gopher’s and the other Minnesota professional sports teams.

“Ray Williams dribbles toward the lane, dishes off to Mychal Thompson…he weaves his way past the last defender and lays it in for TWO…”    Ahhh…I remember.

My mom was a great defender of my dreams. She encouraged me in the things that I wanted to do. Her dream for me was kid-with-planel1that my dreams would come true. Eventually, I entered Brown Institute, a local school that spit out some of the best broadcasters in the Midwest and around the country. Though this was after a failed attempt to make it in the Engineering program at the University of Minnesota, it was really the chasing of my dream. There are no glorious endings when it comes to how my radio career ebbed and flowed. Someday I’ll find a way to weave in the captivating details of my three month stint at AM1400 KCOW in Alliance, NE.  Regardless of how it turned out, I can say today, I got a chance to chase my dream.  The key for me was that I had someone who allowed me to dream and encouraged me.

We all dream.  There are dreams of children, like my dream to be a sports broadcaster, and then there are the dreams of the parents for their children. Both need to be handled carefully.

Dad’s (and moms), I believe one of the most crucial aspects of raising our children is found in how we handle this issue. We live in a culture that is so fast and full of expectations. Dreams die too easily.  They are often discouraged or demeaned or they come from the wrong dreamer.

Trouble comes when we dream things for our children that aren’t on their radar at all. I’m not saying that we shouldn’t lead our children and set proper expectations.  But, dads, let’s not crush the dreams of our children. We don’t always need to be the “voice of reason”. Let’s encourage our children to dream. BIGLY. I believe that God gave us imagination as a snapshot of His “bigness”. As dangerous as it is to quash our children’s dreams, it’s equally deflating and potentially damaging when we push our dreams upon our children. Thoughts of them wearing the hometown sports hero’s jersey, sitting in the chair running our family business, or desiring them to follow us as the next great fighter pilot might be exactly where God wants to take our child. But it might not. In fact, it probably isn’t.

So, let me encourage you to dream with your kids. Ask them about what they want to do and let them make it bigger than life. Don’t squash their dreams. Unless you’re God, you probably don’t know if it can happen or not ;). And, who knows???

Alternatively dads, don’t push your dreams onto your kids. Don’t make them fit into something that you missed or are expecting from them. Let God mold and shape them into what He wants them to become. You’ll be the hero and not the reason for their looking back on youth as a period of lost dreams.

SOUND OFF: Which way have you erred in “the Big Dream”? Quashing or pushing? How have you effectively encouraged your child’s dreams? If you’re an older dad, how have you seen those dreams give life to your children?

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2 Responses to “Whose Dream is it Anyway?”

  1. Jon Spadino Says:

    Good post!

  2. Jeff Abramovitz Says:

    Thanks, Jon. appreciate the kind comment.

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