Quite recently, it seems, life seemed to me very predictable and painted according to the notes. How do we live and how should our children live? Very understandable. They should prepare well for the first class. Come in trousers with arrows and of course — knowledge of English and the ability to read and write. Then go through school, walking from five to five, well, okay, sometimes stumbling on a four. Well, of course — tutors, institute after school — if you did not enter the budget, we pay for tuition, then work. Maybe you have a broader outlook than mine — but that's how I lived and thought.
So my children had to go the straight path: school — college or academy or something cooler — job. Also known as career. But then something happened with my life, everything started to go wrong. I don't know what exactly happened and how it even started. It just gradually dawned on me that the path I had all made up in my head was nothing more than my own picture: I drew it perfectly. Now all I can do with it is take a magnet and pin it on the fridge. But life has nothing to do with the picture that I drew.
One of my friends, a musician, took her children out of school so that the kids could have time to work in a real theater, study music and learn languages. The children grew up independent, talented and accustomed to real work. They received a good home education and passed all the exams with flying colours. Now they move on — they grew up to be good Christian kids: calm confident, they know how to make important decisions. They are successful in music too: singing in church choirs, acting on stage, winning music awards.
Another friend of mine, a writer, left Moscow for a distant village and sent his sons to the nearest little town to study a profession. One of the sons returned as a carpenter, the other as a stove maker. The carpenter son stayed in the village with his parents because he wants to buy a car to go to the city and work, but be close to his parents. Note that he doesn't expect parents to buy him a car: no, unlike many teens these days, this boy wants to help his parents, not get help from them. His stovr-maker brother put together a number of good stoves for the villagers, and went to Moscow to get into college. He wants to become a lawyer. It took some time, but the boy finally found his future.
My family's story also turned out to be a little strange - not at all like the picture I used to draw for myself in the past. My daughter, passed the high school exams perfectly but did not apply to any college. She found work as a waitress, then as an office manager. I was terrified of all this unpredictability — but really, what could I do?
Rather soon my daughter got bored with office work and got another job... at the Mars substation! Yes, the Mars substation, which opened at the Moscow Planetarium. And now, instead of accounting invoices and contracts with clients, she is studying ways to extract water through hot oil from Martian sand. Can you imagine my growing stupefaction? But when the craving for study finally returned — along with a clear idea of what she wants to learn — my daughter sits at lectures and studies passionately, forgetting even to eat.
I could tell you many more stories like this. The ways of the Lord are more and more mysterious to me. My eyes widen more and more every year of my life — from surprise and sometimes from delight. But how much better things can turn out than we ourselves planned. A little freedom. A little creativity. Think a little together. For a while, forget about the one and only way that you've made up. A little understanding that a career is not always the reward that people have been dreaming about since childhood. Let some air into your life—your own and the children's. Give them a little space to want something. So that it doesn't turn out like in Grebenshchikov's song: "Their children are going crazy because they have nothing more to want..." To let them finally hear the voice of the Creator — calling for something that we sometimes don't even know about!