Thursday, February 4, 2010

Boken Dreams

I knew the day had to come eventually, and quite frankly I've been dreading it, but it has happened. Jimmy has decided he can't see and he does not like it. He used to tell people "I don't see very well out of one eye but, I can see just fine out of the other one". The truth is he has no vision in one eye and it's not much better in the other.

A few days ago Jimmy told me what he wants for Christmas next year, He wants sight, he wants to see. He told me that he has to ask for it for Christmas instead of his birthday because Santa Claus is magic and could get it for him. So... do I tell him the truth about Santa, or let him ask and be disappointed when he still can't see, or shall I hope he forgets before Christmas, after all Christmas is a long time off.

Yesterday I was talking to Jimmy about what he wanted to be when he grows up. He used to want to be a brain surgeon, or a helicopter pilot, now he wants to be a stay-at-home dad. When I asked why he has changed what he wants to do. He told be he can't work because he is blind. He'll just have to marry a wife who wants to work, because he can't do anything.

It's heart breaking to see your young child realize he will never attain his dreams because of limitations that are beyond his control. How does a parent walk that fine line between not wanting to destroy his dreams and accepting reality. The truth is that unless science can find a way to re-grow or repair his optic nerves he will never be able to drive a car (another one of his dreams) or be a helicopter pilot or a brain surgeon. I guess it is the same for all of us, in everyone's life there comes a day when you realize that your dreams will not be fulfilled and you're forced to confront reality. What did I tell Jimmy? I pointed out that his uncle's deafness has not stopped him from doing what he wanted to do, I reminded him about all the blind people he knows who have good jobs. I told him not to use the fact that he can't see as well as other people as an excuse, and we never know what the future will bring.

After all everyone has limitations, and the worst limitations we have are often those we put on ourselves.