2007-11-30 / On Second Thought

Thirty-something speaks

Dare to dream
Mike Maddock

We all have dreams when we're young. Unfortunately, the only one I can remember now is a recurring nightmare I had where I showed up for elementary school without my homework, but that's not the bad part. Not only did I forget my homework in this dream, I forgot to wear pants. My entire second grade class stared at me sporting nothing but my tighty- whiteys, a pair of canvas Nikes, and a Planet of the Apes T- shirt, and all I could say was, "I left my crayons on the bus."

I still have a version of that same dream, but now I'm in a college class wearing only boxer shorts. For some reason I haven't been to this class all semester, and I haven't cracked open one single book. On this day in my dream there's a test that will determine the course of the rest of my life and all I can say is, "I left my crayons on the bus."

Those are my literal dreams. I honestly can't remember my figurative ones. I was trying to recall some the other day, because my youngest daughter said her dream came true and it got me to thinking.

To me, when dreams come true you're underneath a dog pile of adoring teammates and fans because you just kicked the winning field goal as time expired or Ed McMahon just happened to show up on your doorstep with a check for $1 million. My youngest daughter's dream was not quite on that grand a scale.

She got to pet a cow.

My family and I went to my in- law's farm over the Thanksgiving holiday. While we were there, my daughter kept inching up to the small herd of jittery cows munching on bales of hay at the farm. Eventually, she got close enough to pet one. While I was wondering if my second grader and all 50 pounds of her should be buddying up to a half- ton animal with a nervous condition, she was living her dream.

Not that cow petting is a normal event in the lives of most people, but her dream seemed a little simple at first glance. After all, her older sister's dream is to have a pink Toyota convertible with wings that can fly her directly to Disney World and a force field that keeps out all the annoying boys from her fourth grade class. That's a dream! Who's to say we all won't be driving pink convertibles with wings and force fields by the time she can afford a car, but the odds favor the cow petting.

My youngest daughter gets to check that one off her list, while my oldest daughter will probably have to wait quite some time for the winged car with a force field. Maybe the reason I don't remember any of my dreams (other than the pantless ones) is because I had the same problem back then my oldest daughter has now. My dreams weren't based in reality. Instead of facing the disappointment of unrealized dreams, I just forgot them.

So if cow petting was my youngest daughter's dream then I'm glad she got to live it. I know she won't ever forget touching the mop of hair on the top of that cow's head. Dreams don't have to be simple, but the ones that come true are the most fun, unless, of course, you're not wearing any pants.

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