My Wildest Dreams

When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?  What did you daydream about?  Did you want to be a fireman, a veterinarian, a teacher?  Did you become your dream?  I didn’t.  At least not my childhood dream.  I wanted to be a pro football player; the next “Mean” Joe Greene.  It didn’t happen.  That dream just kind of faded.  And, I didn’t work at it, didn’t pursue it.  Dreams change.  We grow up…we dream new dreams.

During one of the short spells that our sons were somewhat quiet on the drive home from Michigan, following my last event, I turned to my wife and asked, “In your wildest dreams, did you ever think, for a moment, that I’d be travelling from state to state so I can race bikes?”

She looked at me, the way only she can look at me, and replied, “Honey, you’re not in my wildest dreams.”  (drum, cymbals…thank you, I’m here all week!)

In all seriousness, the thought never crossed my mind.  And, not just racing.  The love of cycling, and bikes, in general.  I can’t wait for my next ride or event.  It’s a passion and an obsession.  But, it’s not my dream.  It’s a very important part of my life.  It’s not my dream.  I’m already living my dream.

I’m a dad.

I didn’t know it was my dream until my first son was born.  I kind of felt it during my wife’s pregnancy, but it was a shadow that hung just out of eyeshot, just outside my peripheral vision.  As soon as I saw him, I knew.  This was what I wanted to be.  I should have known that day, however, the challenges that awaited.

I took my wife to the hospital on her scheduled delivery date.  Everything seemed be going according to plan until we were informed that her dilation had stalled.  The doctor told us there wasn’t a lot of concern, but if she didn’t progress much more, they would perform a C-section.  We’ll, she didn’t progress, and they did the C-section.  As they were pulling my son out, I heard, “Oh, my God, he’s got my scissors!”  I looked over the sheeting and saw his little hand gripping the doctor’s scissors like a steel vice.  He didn’t want to be out!  The battles had begun.

My wife and I have two sons.  Their ages are 10 and 8.  They could not be more BOY.  And I couldn’t possibly love them more.

Our oldest is argumentative, introverted, creative, moody, verbose, artistic, analytical, standoffish, loyal, bookish, contemplative, sarcastic, and has a very dry sense of humor.  He can mimic nearly any accent after hearing it once.  In short, he’s me.  He blows my mind.  He wants to be a S.W.A.T. team officer and he loves his bike.

Our youngest is quick-witted, huggy, extroverted, physical, expressive, jovial, drama-free (mostly), creative, gifted with rhythm, caring, protective, and possessive.  He is our future rock drummer and perpetual motion machine.  Mostly, he’s my wife.  He cracks me up.  He dances like no one is watching and wants to be an art teacher.

I’m amazed more every day at the mannerisms they pick up from us.  The way my 8-year-old wrinkles his nose when he smiles, like my wife.  Or, the way my 10-year-old pouts when he doesn’t get his way…like me.

They’re challenging.  They fight like brothers, but they hug like best friends.  They can be annoying, and they’re my biggest fans.  I can live without the habitual bedtime drama.  But, I wouldn’t trade seeing them asleep, dreaming peaceful dreams, knowing they are safe and loved, for anything.

I want to be a cool dad.  More than anything, I want to be an example for my boys.  I’m proud of the little boys that they are, and I have to remind myself, sometimes, that they are little boys.  I look forward to seeing the men they will become.  What’s my wildest dream now?  Encouraging my sons to follow their wildest dreams.

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38 thoughts on “My Wildest Dreams

    • In the words of Mr. Miagi, “You’re pretty okay, too!” I love that even though we have our own dreams, we are working hard together at encouraging the boys to dream and make theirs happen.

  1. I wanted to be several things when I was growing up, but they all revolved around the one big dream of being a Mom. Children are miraculous beings, aren’t they? It’s amazing how they can be so wise, and yet so innocent. How they can embody so much of their parents, and teach us so much about ourselves.

    • They really are amazing, Shanna! Thanks for your comments! It’s frightening how much they can be like us. There are some things that our oldest does that make stop and ask myself, “Do I do that?!?!”

  2. Although I cannot relate to having sons I can relate to being a parent. I have 3 daughters 13, 11 & 3. My entire life change when I had them and I don’t ever want to go back. Although there have been and still will be many challenges to being a parent, I love them so much and I am so proud see hvow they grown into such an awesome young women. (Jury is still out on the 3 yr old) 🙂 Thanks for sharing. One question did you want to be Mean Joe Green just so you could throw your jersey at some kid?

    • Thank you, Mike! Kids do change our lives. Until our sons were born, I didn’t think I was capable of loving another human being the way I love them. It’s awesome, isn’t it? I’ve been a Pittsburgh Steelers fan for as long as I can remember, but that Coca-Cola commercial did cement Mean Joe’s legend for me. My first Steelers replica jersey as a kid had 75 on it, so that’s where it started, but the jersey toss in the commercial was super cool to me, even at that age. Thanks so much for your comments!

  3. What beautiful words and what a great challenge to other parents out there.

    And how I can relate to what you wrote. When my friends were dreaming of being a mommy, I dreamt of being an archaeologist. And it wasn’t until I was pregnant with my son that I realized I wanted to be a mom. He’s now 30, with two kids of his own, and I still find myself weak in the knees at the thought of just how much I love him.

    Watching him pursue his dreams – and encouraging him every step of the way – has been a joy. Watching my kid love his kids? Oh my gosh. That’s the beauty of this journey. Savor every step.

    • That is awesome, Ronne! Thank you! It’s funny how sometimes we don’t realize how much we really want something until we’ve got it. Now that I’m a dad (10 years in) I can’t imagine my life without these boys. It’s going to be fun seeing their dreams become reality. Thanks again!

    • Thanks, Anita! I couldn’t agree more! There are so many things that we, as parents, want to accomplish. It’s easy to forget sometimes, that our kids need their dreams acknowledged and encouraged too. I have to remind myself of that often. I appreciate your thoughts!

  4. What a beautiful post! My husbands biggest dream was also to be a dad. He was 40 when we married so he had almost given up. He gained 2 kids when we married and we have 2 together. He’s an absolute amazing dad. My kids are so blessed and lucky to have him. So are your boys. Dads are amazing! Moms usually get most of the credit for the children but strong dads bring up strong, kind, loving boys into strong, kind, loving men. We need these men. Thanks for being a strong dad.

    • Thank you for those thoughts, Laretha! I think all that credit that moms get is well deserved and not lauded nearly enough. Our kids are reflections of us, and it sounds like you’ve got a great partner in bringing up yours. Thanks again!

  5. This is a great post. Love how you as a husband – you honor your wife and sons. It’s so awesome to see a man love being in his role – desiring the most and the best for his family. Your wife is an especially amazing and natural encouragement to hundreds, maybe thousands of people. Your partnership is making a difference. Thank you and enjoy your rides!

  6. It’s funny how parenting does things to us that we never know to anticipate. The movie Fools Rush In has a line that I think applies perfectly to parenting… “you’re everything I never knew I always wanted.” I never knew to picture myself in this place, but I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts! I enjoyed reading them.

  7. This post is solid gold! So much of dreaming is being affirmed in who we are. When we know we are loved, the sky’s the limit. Reading your words about your family makes me smile – I have no doubt you have a house full of dreamers…because you love them and share your confidence in them. Race on Rick!

    • Thank you, Sarah! Solid gold…wow! Knowing we are loved and that someone in our lives believes in and supports our dreams can help us blow past those limits, can’t they? Thanks again for your thoughts!

  8. Beautifully written. Although I cannot relate to having children I can relate to how dreams change. It’s often when we stumble across something we didn’t think could be a dream it is just that which ends up being our dream. Our world needs more great dads (and husbands) like you. Awesome post!

    • Thank you, Camilla! Luckily for me, my dreams hit me in the head twice in one lifetime. Sometimes dreams are like that. We need to be reminded of what we can dream and what we can achieve. Thanks again!

  9. This was brought to my attention and I am glad it was. There were times in my adult years that I would not have believed it possible, but in the last years, the life that has become mine fulfills the biggest of my dreams. I am a parent and grandparent who also has the privilege of teaching and encouraging school children to create dramatically, musically and in visual arts. When I look at the things that I chose to do in my childhood, I have become the person I was always meant to be. Thanks for reminding me of that.

    • Thank you! It’s not often that we embrace the opportunities that come our way, and when our kids are involved, I don’t ever want to miss out. Thank you for all you are doing to encourage school children to create and to pursue their creative talents!

  10. This is tender and so manly all at the same time! I love my girls but get so caught up in their drama I often forget about who and what they are. But just this morning as I dropped my 15 year old off to babysit, my heart swelled at how incredibly sweet, giving, mature, kind, patient, persistent, and fun she has become. I do want to keep encouraging and facilitating them to be who God created them to be. Thanks for the reminder.

    • Thank you, Vicky! Even with our boys, it’s easy to get drawn into their drama. My mom told me growing up, “It’s my job to give you wings, it’s your job to make sure they carry you where you’re meant to go.”

  11. Thanks for sharing this! I’m so thankful for parents who never forced me to pursue a particular ambition of their own and always encouraged my dreams. I know your sons will be just as thankful for having such an awesome dad!

  12. What a great post. It encourages me to be a better father. I have enjoyed reading some of your posts so far, and also liked your first. Looking forward to reading more about you letting go of the brakes this year.

    • Thanks, Lee! I’m realizing that I can bore the living snot out of some of my part time readers with nothing but cylcing stories. Fortunately, life, faith and everything in between have an influence on my cycling passion. That’s made it a little easier to find palatable material. 🙂 I’m happy you’ve enjoyed reading so far!

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