When my daughter was little, her greatest dream was to be able to fly. Not too unusual I suppose, people have probably wanted to fly since the beginning of time, that’s why the airplane was invented. But she didn’t want to fly in an airplane, she had done that many times, she wanted to fly on her own.
One evening as I was sitting on the edge of her bed at bedtime, and tucking her in, she looked at me and said, there’s no point in dreaming because dreams don’t come true.
Yes, wow. I think she was about four years old and this statement completely floored me. I mean what do we have if we don’t have dreams? And especially to hear that coming from a child!
I tried to sound as casual as possible and I asked her why she said that, is that what she thinks? Well, it turned out someone – a grown-up – had told her that people can’t and will never be able to fly and neither will she so there is no point dreaming about it. Something inside me died a little.
And I was outraged. Who has the right to kill a little girl’s dream like that? To kill anyone’s dream for that matter? Flying may be unlikely, although with the technological breakthroughs that are constantly being made you never know. Never say never, right? Still, she would eventually have figured that out on her own, if of course she doesn’t actually end up inventing some gimmick in the future, which will actually allow her to fly. But either way, you can’t just go and kill a child’s dream like that. It just isn’t right. Why would you even want to?
Because dreams do come true and I am living proof. I used to have a dream. I had many, of course, but there is one in particular that I want to write about today. I’ve always loved books and I’ve always thought it would be so cool to actually write a book some day. Now no one told me I couldn’t, although I didn’t talk about it very much. I was old enough to understand that writing a book is a lot of work. I also had the impression that it really is very hard to get a novel (which was what I equated with a book) published. Plus, I didn’t even think I had it in me. But I thought it must be the ultimate thing, to have a book to your name.
Well, little did I know then that this was actually going to come true for me: I signed a book contract with an international publisher last week! Opting out and in is going to be a book! At this point I’m not exactly sure how long the process is going to be, but hopefully it will be out by the end of next year or the beginning of 2017.
As for my daughter, I hope and know she still dreams. At the time, sitting on her bed, I gave her a short lecture on dreams and dreaming, stressing that what she was told was absolutely not true. Dreaming is never silly or irrational. It is wonderful and important and we should all do it more. Dreams do come true, and you really never know, humans may even be able to fly some day. The important thing is to never give up dreaming. And I think she believed me. I don’t know how the flying dream is doing today, but she still dreams and I just know that with her imagination, creativity, and resilience many of them will come true.