The Long View

“Where do you want your family to be in twenty years?”

This is a question posed by a parenting book that my wife and I are reading. The intent is pretty obvious: you modify your family behaviors now so that you can accomplish those long-range goals.

But I've found the exercise of imagining my family twenty years in the future to be very therapeutic now, when we none of us know what our world is going to look like in three days. Imagining a world where my kids are safe, happy, and still close to my wife and I is, a little surprisingly, all I need. My wife and I have been fairly driven people most of our lives. Degrees and good jobs and all the typical aspirations. But we're finding that we don't feel a lot of need to pass these dreams on to our kids. Its entirely possible they were never our dreams to begin with, but were more or less impressed upon us by school and whatnot.

So the vision that makes me happy is simple. It's my kids. Maybe they're married, maybe not. Maybe I have grandkids, maybe not. Whatever they each do for a living, we're all gathered in our house. My wife and I are older but still around, my kids are adults. We're together, we can all be in the same room and enjoy one anothers' company.

So no, I don't know what will happen tomorrow. But I like to imagine my kids gathering and laughing together in twenty years.