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An insurance company mailed me and asked if I could write about my wish for my daughter’s future, how I’d secure it and what I hoped she’d become. They gave me a list to choose from: Scientist, explorer, doctor, engineer, entrepreneur, dancer, singer and many more that I cannot recall now.

As I sat there, looking at the e-mail, this verse came to me which I thought I’d share:

They asked me to choose
A future for you
A peek into what I thought
Would open the floodgates
Of opportunity.

They asked me to guess
What I thought you’d be good at
Where I felt you would excel
And what I imagined you’d become.

They urged me, they did,
To look into a crystal ball
And see the wonders that awaited
Your every step and your every fall.

And I paused.

For how could I tell them
The truth?

That I could never
Live your life for you
Dream your dreams or
Whisper your hopes?

That I would refrain
From binding you to a book
That says you must pursue the Arts
Or excel at science
Or jump headlong into the earth’s mysteries?

That I would cheer you on
If you decided to drop it all
And go climbing the mountains 
in search of the fountain of joy?

That I would stand and laugh
With absolute abandon
As you swam freestyle through
A swimming pool 
Relishing the cold water on your face?

That I would stop everything
And be by your side
When you called me to share
That you’ve done what you’ve wanted all along?

How can I possibly put into words
What I cannot envision?
How can I ever tell you
To stay the course
When I don’t have any way of knowing
What the path is?

How can I dream
For you, my child
When I am myself wandering
In a dreamland of my own making?
Categories: Life LessonsParenting

Shailaja V

Hi there! I'm Shailaja Vishwanath, a blogger with 12 years of blogging experience and a parent to a teen. I work as a digital marketing and social media consultant. From positive parenting tips to useful productivity hacks, social media advice to blogging advice, you'll find them all right here. Welcome to my blog.


Vidya Sury · October 10, 2015 at 7:29 pm

🙂 Well done, Shailaja! We can only show the map and the possibilities. They must choose their path to happiness. Hugs!

Suzy · October 11, 2015 at 2:00 am

Superbly done. We should never get our children to live our lives or the life we want. They need to forge their own path whatever that might be.

Rekha Dhyani · October 11, 2015 at 2:34 am

Very well done, Shailaja. When I began reading I thought, 'No. Shailaja won't agree to this.' I am glad you proved me right. 🙂 Their life is theirs. Their choices, theirs. We are only required to provide them possible means.

Parul · October 11, 2015 at 5:16 am

Beautiful and such a wonderful message for all parents. Let the children decide what they want to do.

Blessed · October 11, 2015 at 6:12 am

Absolutely lovely! I love what you have woven into the poem. It's beautiful. And yeah, I have the same dream for VI which is no dream at all 🙂 for him to be happy and content is all I want. And be respectful and considerate of his fellow beings, humans, animals, plants and the earth he lives on.

Balaka Basu · October 11, 2015 at 6:22 am

Very well written…. And Gy is blessed to have a mother like you…wish all mothers thought like you

Eli Ert · October 11, 2015 at 9:46 pm

“whisper your hopes” … beautifully written Shailaja:-) I think all parents can relate to this, at least I could, and I only hope many parents can read and learn from it, and not try to “push” their kids, but let them follow their own dreams and hope for their life… beautiful picture you had there:-)

Rajlakshmi · October 12, 2015 at 2:39 am

If all parents start thinking like this there would be no suicide committed by young children due to pressure. It's a very beautiful poem 🙂

Inderpreet Kaur · October 12, 2015 at 2:42 am

That sums up a mothers vision and love so perfectly.
True we can only guide and groom them. Wonderful words Shailaja.

Inspired by a letter ….hmm I need to look at things more carefully. Nothing seems to move me these days.

Soumya · October 12, 2015 at 1:21 pm

Oh this one made me go all awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww 🙂

When I decide to walk down that lane, I'm coming to you for advice.

Shailaja Vishwanath · October 12, 2015 at 1:57 pm

I truly believe that more and more Vidya and Gy helps me along 🙂 Hugs right back!

Shailaja Vishwanath · October 12, 2015 at 2:00 pm

We live and learn, don't we Suzy? Learning is something I am enjoying to this day, thanks to blogging and parenting 🙂

Shailaja Vishwanath · October 12, 2015 at 2:09 pm

I'm certainly sighing in relief that you repose such confidence in me, Rekha 🙂 Everything is theirs, right?

Shailaja Vishwanath · October 12, 2015 at 2:12 pm

I certainly hope I never change in my outlook here, Parul. Thanks for reading and sharing.

Shailaja Vishwanath · October 12, 2015 at 2:24 pm

She recently had her first set of exams, you know? And she came home half sad and half happy with the results. On the other hand I was so thrilled with the fact that she went to each exam with the same passion she showed towards a regular day of school and nothing in me wants to change that. Now or ever.

Shailaja Vishwanath · October 12, 2015 at 2:28 pm

Thanks Balaka. I think a lot of mothers do but are afraid to actually put it into practice.

Shailaja Vishwanath · October 12, 2015 at 2:35 pm

I was blessed to grow up with parents who really let me spread my wings and encouraged me to follow my heart and I know how tough that is to do. So I am hoping I can do the same for my daughter. Thanks so much for reading 🙂

Shailaja Vishwanath · October 12, 2015 at 2:36 pm

I certainly hope people start looking past grades. It's a ridiculous benchmark anyway for what people are capable of doing. Thanks Raj 🙂

Shailaja Vishwanath · October 12, 2015 at 2:38 pm

Awww, I am guessing there's too much on your mind. Don't stress. It will happen at its own pace 🙂

Shailaja Vishwanath · October 12, 2015 at 2:41 pm

You're welcome at any time, you know that 🙂

tulika singh · October 12, 2015 at 5:57 pm

I need to remember this. No matter how much we love our children and think we know best none of us can actually chart their paths. We can only equip them as best as we can to chart their own. And if they choose one that's not what we'd imagined we need to remember this. And that's easier said than done. Sigh! You've said it beautifully Shailaja.

Shilpa Garg · October 12, 2015 at 8:07 pm

Such a beautiful expression and a fantastic message too. Here's wishing that more and more parents would let the children follow their dreams, their passions!

SHANAYA TALES · October 13, 2015 at 3:15 am

You have expressed this so well, in a way only you can.
If more parents thought like this, the world would be a more beautiful place. 🙂

Shailaja Vishwanath · October 13, 2015 at 7:01 am

Thanks Tulika. You worry too much. Knowing you and the way you bring up the twins, I am certain that it's not too tough for you. You underestimate yourself, my dear 🙂

Shailaja Vishwanath · October 13, 2015 at 7:13 am

One must always live with hope, I say 🙂 May more parents follow the trend soon.

Shailaja Vishwanath · October 13, 2015 at 7:27 am

Let's do it, Shantala. Let's make more parents think like this. Why not? With the power we have with words, don't you think it's possible? You just gave me an idea for another post. Love you 🙂

Mithila Menezes · October 14, 2015 at 1:34 pm

Every parent should read this poem ya! :'(
Damn, I remember when I had to make a choice between Commerce, Arts and Science, I was so confused. And the main question that kept popping up in my mind was – How can i decide between these three streams if I don't know anything about it? I can at least select a flavour of icecream if I'm given three options, coz I've tasted them all.
And I loved the last line <3

Shailaja Vishwanath · October 14, 2015 at 2:42 pm

I can totally understand that dilemma, Mithila and my sympathies are with you. How tough it must have been especially without correct career counselling. Thank you so much for your kind words and sharing the post.

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