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A Teen's View

A look at childhood dreams

Danielle Ryan

(1/2013) Did you read my mother, Mary Ann Ryanís, article? Well if you havenít I will tell you that she wrote about raising and growing orchids, and why they are a relevant plant to grow during this time of year, but that is not what I will be talking about. My dear mother also mentioned that she planned on raising orchids, but then I was born and in a nut shell that dream of hers went out the window. Prior to reading her article, I had not known that she had a dream of growing orchids. Well I would just like to say that, hey, itís not my fault that I was born, and as a baby I required much needed care. I canít help my own birth crushed your dreams.

In fact I am willing to bet that most parents had some dream that had to be sacrificed because they started having kids. I would like to talk about the flip side of this conversation, the "dreams" that we kids have had to sacrifice because of our parents. Think about it, how many times have your parents or other adults in your family, crushed your dreams, and were "party poopers" in reference to something that you wanted to do.

When we were little our parents told us that we could do whatever we wanted to do, but you know that deep down they were thinking "well that will never happen." If I said that I wanted to grow up to be an astronaut, my parents would say those encouraging words of "of course honey you can be whatever you want to be." If, however, I had said that I wanted to be a waitress when I grew up, well they were not quite so positive. "Oh no you donít want to be a waitress, donít you want to be a doctor or something when you grow up?" they would say. Right there, right then, they crushed my dreams of ever becoming a waitress. And what about that dream of becoming a princess when I grow up? Every little girl dreams about becoming a princess. My parents may have encouraged that little dream of mine for a little while, but in the end they, once again, spoiled my hopes of ever becoming the queen of anything.

A relevant story for Christmas time happened many years ago when I was in grade school. I remember asking for a horse or pony almost every year for several years during Christmas time. When I wrote my list for Santa Claus, the list always began with number one on my list being a horse, number two being a kitten and then number three being a puppy. After these items were written down I would follow with whatever toys I most wanted at the time.

I remember wanting a horse or pony so bad that one year I was convinced that either Santa or my parents were going to get me one. In fact I was so convinced that Christmas morning I remember thinking I had heard a horse outside on our driveway. This so-called sound excited me so much that when I woke up, I ran downstairs and out the door with much anticipated excitement, only to find that there was absolutely nothing outside for me except a few rabbit prints in the thin layer of snow.

I had these wild fantasies that there would be a beautiful pony waiting for me with a big red bow wrapped around his neck. I suppose at the time I thought that it could be completely fathomable that there could be a pony just waiting outside for me, almost expecting me, as much as I expected him. I remember sulking back inside because my dreams that Christmas had once again been crushed. Santa didnít bring me a pony and neither had my parents. I am pretty sure that I then proceeded to ask if there was either a puppy or a kitten under the tree. Of course the answer was no, my parents could not even grant me that wish. I believe that this was the last Christmas I asked for live animals. See, Mom, I may have "crushed" your dreams of growing orchids when I was born, but for several Christmases you crushed my dreams of being a pony owner.

I suppose the best they could do was try to grant my wishes by getting me numerous stuffed horse toys, and toy horses during Christmas and birthdays. I guess I could be thanking them for expanding my imagination, because when you are given inanimate objects as a child instead of living things you must be creative when playing. Just kidding Mom, when I was little I loved getting stuffed animals and toy animals much better than getting Barbies and baby dolls.

As you can see, parental figures, we children may have, in some way, been a part of spoiling some of your future dreams; but I can assure you that you all also had a hand in ruining some of our dreams. In all seriousness though, I really do love my parents, the editor asked me to be silly this month and write a more humorous article. So now that the truth is out about my opinion on dream crushing, we can now move ahead in this crazy path we call life.

Editor's note: Danielle failed to mention that when I asked her about doing this article, she was sitting on my old 3-Day Event horse Riker ... at my farm ... where she works as a groom ... that's to the connections her mother made with my wife - both Master Gardeners!  So in a way, her mother did help her achieve her dream!

Read Other Articles by Danielle Ryan