I made the mistake of saying, “That’s the trouble, these activities are so all-consuming now that kids are missing out on being kids. Plus, the chances of them going on to a professional level is virtually nil.”
The eighteen-year-old looked at me in disgust and hissed, “Dream Squasher!” Then, she looked to our little dancer and said, “Don’t worry, I believe in you.”
My heart dropped.
“You’re right, you’re right,” I immediately told my niece. Typically, I’m not so quick to recognize my gaffes, but her words were like a smack across the face.
Though I might think that today’s sports and activities are out of control, who am I to say whether that time is well spent? Who am I to question a young person’s passion? Who am I to go around squashing dreams?
What’s even crazier is that I should know better. I am a grown woman still chasing mine. In fact, I have spent more time, tears, and effort on becoming a published author than I have on anything else in my life. Now, a dream squasher could easily look at that and give me the horrifying statistics on the number of writers who actually make it to publication. A dream squasher could point out all the time I’m taking away from my friends and family in this pursuit. A dream squasher could question, is it worth it?
If I’m being honest, I’d say, “Hell, yes!” It is worth it – even without a publishing contract, even though I sometimes spend more time in my head than I do in the real world, even though it is absolutely the hardest thing I’ve ever done.
It is worth it.
That’s what I plan to remember and I vow never be a dream squasher again.