Dreams are important... when we're kids, and when we grow up. When I was 8 years old, I wanted to be a disc jockey and own radio stations. Today, as an investment banker who once put together a small-market radio group for a private equity fund, I've never regretted pursuing my childhood radio dreams.
My youngest daughter, Maddie, aspires to be a singing veterinarian. Because our twin babysitters are going off to college in a couple of weeks, eight-year-old Maddie is already talking about what she's going to study when it's her turn to go away to college (making her mom and dad officially empty nesters in ten years). Maddie would like to find a college where she can major in veterinary science (is there such a thing as pre-vet?) and minor in singing.
In the mean time, we're trying to decide whether to make the commitment to a Master's class at Annie's Playhouse in Far Hills, NJ, in the Fall. For the past four years, London and Maddie have spent their summers at Annie's Playhouse Summer Stars, but this year, for the first time, both of my girls have expressed an interest in "going pro" in the Fall, focusing on a career in musical theatre through the amazingly serious classes in acting, singing and dancing at Annie's Playhouse. It's clearly impressive to see what Annie's Playhouse has accomplished for its most serious students... a couple of 10-year-olds from the Summer Stars camp already have their own agents and could turn out to be the next Jonas Brothers.
But talk about over-programmed. There is such a wealth of opportunities for children to choose from here in the Roxiticus Valley, including the local Hexagon Players performances. As much as London and Maddie LOVED softball in the Spring, we've rejected the Mendham Little League Fall softball program, and decided to wait until next year to join a 4-H dog club. London is a very talented dancer and already takes three hours of ballet on Monday and Tuesdays, as well as an hour of modern dance for both girls at Garden State Ballet in Randolph, NJ, but we've put off the third day of dance and participation in the Nutcracker until she's old enough to be en pointe next year. London also wants to continue with intermediate gymnastics at Randolph Gymnastics.
So we'll take the next few weeks of relaxation at our beach house in Bay Head, NJ, sleeping as late as we want with no commitments, to decide whether the girls want to get serious about a career in musical theatre, or stick to the lazy fun of song and dance of summer camp.