Make their dreams your dreams...

09.06.20 05:06 PM Comment(s) By Adrienne Towsen

Will they like what I like? Will they do what I do? Will they follow in my footsteps and choose the same career path? Just a few of the many questions we ask ourselves as parents while we watch our kids grow and develop their personalities and interests. As a working mom, you may wonder especially if your daughters will travel down the same road you did, assuming you feel it's a good road to travel.  Do you try and steer them that way or do you leave the door wide open for them to explore all things? I think there is a natural tendency to want your kids to be interested in the same things you are, especially if it's your passion. This may not necessarily be work related but may refer to a sport or hobby.  If, on the other hand, you feel unhappy or dissatisfied with job choices or other aspects of your life, your goal may be to steer them away from these things and try to point them in other directions. While it is  important to provide guidance for our kids, I also feel it is critical to let them find what interests them and encourage and support them as they follow their dreams. Obviously it is also our responsibility to give them good advice and help them make appropriate decisions for their future. There is a happy medium in there somewhere!

I discovered the quote above when I was creating a senior yearbook tribute page for my older daughter, and I thought it was fabulous. Anyone reading this who knows me or has checked out my bio on the website realizes that I am an orthopedic surgeon. I get asked at least once a week by patients or other people I meet if my kids are planning to be doctors too. My answer is "no and I'm glad they are not". People seem shocked sometimes when I say that. I say it that way for a two reasons. First of all, while I love what I do as a surgeon, and it is very rewarding to help people, the medical field has changed drastically over the years and in many ways not for the better. Secondly, while they respect what I do, they have no interest in it and they are both currently heading down their own paths. I could not be more proud, and I support them 100%. I am very fortunate to have two intelligent, hard working daughters who are determined to follow their dreams. 


I think this starts when they are young.  My interests as a kid were primarily school and sports. I played lacrosse from grade 7 through college, and I also had a horse and competed in many horse shows during my high school years. When I had two girls, I thought for sure at least one of them would play lacrosse (neither one did), and I started them in horseback riding lessons at the ages of 4 and 6.

I show my then 4 year old because she did actually seem to really like it even at that age, whereas my older daughter was going through the motions, but I knew it wasn't for her. She did it for a few summers, but I made sure she knew she didn't have to continue just because she thought I wanted her too. She decided to stop, and at that time, they both stopped because my younger one didn't want to go without her sister. She, however, did truly enjoy it and returned several years later with huge success as a competitive rider.

And just for fun...Here I am at age 16 on my amazing horse Jessie!


My older daughter had a passion for books at a young age, and it blossomed into an incredible world of her own. She read the Hunger Games trilogy in fifth grade and she was sold. She became and avid reader, and her bookshelves in her bedroom were her prize possession. I was always a good student and read what I needed to for school, but that was about it. I found it fascinating to see her develop such a serious interest in this, and before I knew it, she had favorite authors and we were traveling around to book signings. 


She then introduced me to Book Con, a huge convention filled with authors and publishing companies, etc. It was amazing. We traveled to this for a few years in a row and it was so wonderful to watch her engage in all the events there and meet up with friends she made through this interest and via a youtube community called book tube that she became a part of. It was something I knew nothing about and loved learning about it through her. I would often tell her "you are so interesting to me" ... I think at first she didn't know what to make of that comment, but I explained it was the best complement I could give her. It was amazing to watch her be true to her interests and pursue all of these things which were totally unique.

Danielle's passion evolved into so much more. She is now junior in college at Emerson in Boston and a journalism major. She is doing amazing things both behind and in front of the camera, and I cannot wait to see where she will end up once she graduates. She maintains a love for books, but also culture, music, travel and absolutely thrived when she did a semester abroad last year. This was something I never did, and then as a parent I was a little apprehensive about at first. She had her heart set on it, and I was not going to stand in her way. Off she went to the Netherlands and traveled around Europe on the weekends. It was an incredible experience for her and another thing that will mold her life moving forward into something so different from mine. I think it's awesome!

Kayla's riding will hopefully continue in college, but she will now follow her passion for a career in the fashion industry. I am a huge fan of clothes and have the closets (yes plural) to prove it, but it was not something I was all that interested in at a young age. Kayla developed an amazing sense of style especially through her high school years but also has similar interests to her sister with regard to culture and travel. She thinks she may want to be involved in a fashion magazine. College in New York City is a huge step in the right direction. I cannot wait to see what she will do as she moves on in school and hopefully studies abroad her junior year at one of NYU's fashion programs. Again, a world very different from mine, and I am so excited for her!

So...I have a mixed bag. I share many interests with both of my daughters and we have enjoyed many experiences over the years related to these things like travel, concerts & broadway shows, They have grown up and figured out how to pursue their goals. We live in the suburbs, but they are city girls all the way and have both ended up in the perfect schools in the perfect cities. I firmly believe they are right where they belong, and I hope that they will move on from their college careers and follow their dreams. I think I am even more proud of them for having dreams and passions which are different from mine. I think both would admit they have always felt supported in everything they do, and for that I feel I have done what I need to as a parent. Let them be individuals and just be you for Halloween!!

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