If at any time I had doubts; if at any time I had less than a little faith in him, I never showed it. I never once said how afraid for him I was; how it frightened me with the way he dreamed that he was propping himself for heartache.
I never once told him to be economical with his imagination; never once taught him that though dreams spur hope and hope re-enforces life, life usually never lives up to the bargain. Many times I wanted to tell him that while it was always beautiful to say all the things one wanted out of life in childhood, all the hopes one had for a future that seemed far and was better off an oasis in a distant time, the bitterness of reality short-changed on the backdrop of all forlorn hopes and ambitious dreams, is more crippling than a dose of aconitum.
I wanted to tell him I was like him once: young and carefree, untouched by the world’s fangs, unscathed by the heat of disappointment. I believed I would rule the world someday too. And now many years later, I don’t. I don’t even rule my corner of the world. Or even a corner of my corner of the world. And I probably never will.
But I had dreams…
I want to teach him to dream economically, because I’m a father and it’s my instinct to protect him, but how can I do that at the risk of killing a dream that he could possibly see through. There’s nothing to say he’s not going to be better than his father, right? There’s nothing to say he’s not going to get right all the things I got wrong, yes?
So I’ll let him dream. And I would pray that when disillusionment comes it would come quietly. I would teach him to work, and to fight for what he believes in. And even when I don’t believe in the dreams he believes in, I would nudge him and say “Attaboy!”
If he’s lucky he would be driven by the dream, the pursuit of happiness, into a life, which though might not be the one he envisions, would make his dreams possible for his offspring.
If I am lucky he would live the dream for the both of us…