I have always told Sara that she can do or be anything she wants to be! And I know that in my heart to be true, and I think that it has empowered my daughter to do some amazing things already. She's learned to sit up, crawl, and walk with a walker (all things the doctors told me were probably impossible). She's already learning to read, and she understand other advanced concepts most of her peers don't even know exist in the world yet.
But then this weekend, I finally didn't know what to say. My daughter told me she wanted to be a fighter pilot when she grows up...and I know that will never happen for her. But I've spent all this time telling her she can do anything, so how do I now tell her that she will not be able to do that?
It started because there was an air show this weekend at the airport near our house. The flight path for the runway takes them right over our house, so we got to sit in the yard and watch the planes flying over head. Sara was completely fascinated by the F-16 fighter jets! She just thought they were awesome, and that's when she told me when she grew up she wanted to fly them.
It almost brought me to tears to think that I had to tell my little girl that she had finally found something that wasn't an option for her. So after quickly gathering my thoughts, I told her I thought that would be fun but if she couldn't what else did she want to do. She said if she couldn't fly jets, then she would still be a doctor. She told me she wanted to be a doctor so she could help other kids like her a couple months ago, and of course, I encourage that with my whole heart. I know she can do it. She's smart enough, kind enough, and understanding enough. And being in a wheelchair might actually make her better at it.
But it was really hard to look my daughter in the eye and have to consider telling her there was something she couldn't do. I hope that I didn't say the wrong thing, I hope that she won't realize too soon that there are limits which she is bound to. She is a free spirit, and I want her to remain so as long as possible. But she's growing up fast, and all too soon she'll realize that I'm a liar...there are lots of things she will never do! I hope that day never comes, but I know that some day it will have to. Please God, don't let it be soon! I'm not ready to break her heart!