I have always liked the band Aerosmith. Actually, the very first concert I ever went to was Aerosmith at the Richfield Colosseum in 1994. I was a freshman in high school and I went with my friend Kasha. We sat in the nosebleed seats and it was the first time I had ever been around anyone who was smoking pot. The guys next to us were pretty heavy smokers and about 1/4 of the way through the show one of them threw up on the floor next to us. We didn't even care. It was a magical night. It was our first foray into "adulthood" and we felt bigger than life. Well, I did and I am imagining that's how she felt, too.
As I said it was my first concert. Everything about that night, the sound of music blaring out at you, the smells of beer and cigarettes and yes, pot, all mixing with my Estee Lauder Pleasures perfume I got from the family I babysat for through junior high and high school. It. Was. Awesome. I had been a fan of Aerosmith from a young age. I remember seeing the video for "Rag Doll" while sitting on an exercise bike at my mom's gym when I was 7 or 8 and thinking A.) that girl's underpants are showing and B.) I LOVE this song. I had no clue what it meant but that music moved me.
There is a point to all this, I swear. The part of that night I remember the very most was when I heard the song "Dream On" for the very first time live. I. Was. Blown. Away. I will never forget that moment. Or that song. I think of that song as one of many on the soundtrack of my life. Something about it just gets to me. It has inspired me countless times and I find that usually happens when I need it the most.
It got me again today. I was thinking about how when I was pregnant with Casey and Connor my dreams for them were pretty standard- play sports, be well liked, always like me the best because they're both mommy's boys, go to college, be something outstanding, give me lots of grandchildren to spoil. After I heard the words Down syndrome that all changed. For awhile I had no dreams for their futures. I dreamt for their immediate lives- I dreamed that they would smile, laugh, coo, hold their heads up, sit unassisted, stand, walk. I didn't go much past those basics.
It's amazing how things changed and how I was looking at their lives in small bites. I was looking at their every accomplishment as reason for celebration and didn't bother thinking much further or bigger. Until the last 6 months or so and things have once again changed.
More back story- when I was young I went to Kent State University. I went right after high school and I didn't really know what I wanted out of life. I just went because I was supposed to go. I didn't really have a dream for myself. I just wanted to do what I was supposed to do. I chose Early Childhood Education as my major because I liked kids well enough and I figured I could do that as a career. I was never really invested in the idea though. Long story short- I failed out of college. Not just failed out a little- like in a BIG, BIG way. I failed at something that I never truly gave any thought to but I was really sad that I let the opportunity get away from me. Not all was lost- I met one of my very best friends at KSU and she and I remain very close. I also learned that I am not so great unless I have a clear dream and direction.
I have not had a clear dream or direction in, well, ever. That is until my world changed completely and I was given my miracle men and their sweet baby sister. I have dreams now- for all of us and while they do include a number of small things ( I am still waiting to hear the word mommy) I find I am planning much farther ahead.
I am dreaming of my angels changing the world. I want them to work hard and accomplish amazing things. I dream of watching Casey and Connor being handed high school diplomas- not certificates of completion- DIPLOMAS. I dream of them going off to college- maybe even Kent State which now has a great program for adults with Down syndrome. I dream of Reagan becoming an advocate for anyone who struggles. I dream of filling her head with positive things and confidence and the wisdom to share those gifts with the world. I dream of raising my children to become kinder than I was, stronger than I am and far more focused than their momma ever managed to be herself. I want my children to go out and make this world a better place to be and I want them to do it in a BIG way. I want them to shatter preconceived notions and to challenge the idea that some are worth more than others. I want them to go out into the world and I want the world to take notice. In short- I want them to be successful and kind and loving but to also be great at whatever they choose to pursue.
In honor of those dreams for them I have decided to allow myself to dream for me also. I am really beginning to think of MY future. I want to be something. I want to be someone who makes a difference. I want to live up to all the potential I ignored all those years ago at Kent State University. I know I want to go back to school. I am not sure for what yet. I have it narrowed down to a few possibles.
In addition to wanting to go back to school I have also decided to allow myself to want other things. Recently I was approached about running for a position with a well known agency. I can't go into too much more detail but if I decide to pursue this opportunity and I get chosen I could be part of something very important and it would likely help me to help many, many people with disabilities. At first I was hesitant to even admit I wanted this position because, as is my nature, I don't believe I am good enough or qualified enough. But some very good friends gave me the pep talk that very good friends give and I have decided to push the fear aside and go for it- and to admit I really want to be picked. SO, without any other details than that please pray that I am chosen and that this surge of confidence holds. God will know what you're talking about.
On that note, I feel I have written enough tonight. I'll leave you with a part of the lyrics that often inspire me...
dream on, dream on, dream on,
and dream until your dream comes true