Monday, August 18, 2008

Predicting the Future

As the boys get older, I think more and more about what they will be like when they're all grown up. The older they get, the more their likes and dislikes, interests and talents begin to develop and solidify. When they were young, we signed them up for several various sports (soccer, baseball, basketball) and activities (crafts, art, violin, piano). But as they get older, it's interesting to note how their focus narrows to their favorites. Certain activities get dropped in favor of others. That's the way it should be, and I'm just thankful they have had the opportunity to experience so much.

It's also interesting to me to note how much influence we have had over their lives up to this point. What we like and do, they also tend to like and do. But activities we never participate in (horseback riding, skiing to name a few), they show no desire to try, even though they know these activities are out there. We take them to museums, concerts, movies, and plays. They love these things. We start watching sports (baseball, football), they develop an interest. Art classes and swimming--check, check. My favorite bands from the 80s (Def Leppard, Duran Duran, Journey), now their favorites as well. We take them hiking and kayaking. Now they beg to go on the weekends.

While I love the interests they've developed thanks to our influence, it's scary to think what other interests they might have developed had we introduced it to them. Lacrosse and water and snow skiing are two that immediately come to mind. I guess we can only do so much as parents. Introduce them to things we love, and then sit back and let them discover the rest on their own. That's part of the fun of life.

In the spirit of looking into the boys' futures, here's what I see for them:

Kohler. Loves the outdoors, plants, cooking/food, water sports. I see him going to University somewhere like Colorado or Hawaii, maybe taking Biology or Environmental Science. He's pretty passionate about environmentalism, so I could see him working in that field, or in something outdoorsy with a biology degree. I see him living on the west coast, spending lots of time outdoors, hiking, camping, backpacking, kayaking, and rock climbing.

Kaden. Our little business man. I see him starting his own game company. He's full of ideas and imagination. He already designs new games all the time. Very creative, but also likes to make $$. Quite the boss at home! I also see him living on the west coast, in the San Francisco area. Lots of hiking and baseball in his free time. (Of course the above is all null and void if he becomes a pitcher for MLB.)

Kieran. Such an artist. I see him working for Lucas Film, also in the San Francisco area. Maybe an animator or art director. Someplace with a fun working environment that uses his artistic talents and his love of games/comics. An amateur tennis player in his free time.

With all of them living on the west coast/San Francisco area, I guess Stoehr and I better move out there too! Who knows what they will become, but it's fun to imagine! It's a fine line between looking at their strengths/interests and steering them towards careers they would enjoy, and pigeon holing them so they are unable to see other options. Stoehr was encouraged through his childhood to go into engineering. His mom saw his strengths. He did choose that path, and is very happy. I, on the other hand, was never specifically directed, just told I could do anything. Perhaps as a result, it has been very difficult to decide what I "want to do when I grow up". Based on this experience, can you guess how I will encourage the boys?!

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