picture what you want

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Stephanie Klein and Son

I want my children to understand what it is to manifest, to know firsthand the magical disbelief and near-painful joy that comes when dreams actually come alive, moving from an imagined state to one with a pulse, right there in front of you, to the touch. They should know that these dreams are theirs for the taking, for the asking, anything at all, bound only by the limits of their imaginations…

Only, wait. How annoying is that? “Dreams beyond your imagination.” I mean, come on. It sounds promising, but it’s sort of a backhanded compliment right at the get go. Look kid, you can have anything in the world, but your imagination is pretty limp. Don’t kill the messenger, but you’re gonna have to work on that hobbled sense of imagination if you have any hope of being anyone worth anything. Good luck, kid. Here’s a pastrami on rye for the road.

While I want Lucas and Abigail to know deeply that if they picture and visualize what they want in their lives, they can have it, I also want them to get the message that it’s not enough to simply create Pinterest boards hoping to wake up to a dreamy outdoor kitchen with a gambrel roof. You need to pair the vision with preparation, grit, and, quite frankly, work. Vision, yes. 100% yes, but it’s not enough to just imagine. You also have to bang away at it, moving in a direction. Basically, it’s not enough to aim and steer; you’ve gotta move. A body in motion gets further with a Pinterest board. Though you’re goin’ nowhere fast without a current.

Stephanie Klein and Son

Still, I think visualizing what you want is a powerful lesson they should learn repeatedly, one I’ve certainly seen come true, even here on this Greek Tragedy blog. A message in which I, as their mother and teacher, intend for them to believe devoutly, which is why I plan to surprise them with a trip to Florida this weekend.

The other day I asked them what they’d like to do over the week’s break, without school. “Skylander’s Giants!” Lucas chanted. “All day, every day!”
“No way!” Abigail said, her head bowing in defeat on her arm. “Not happening, dude.”
“Then, what?” I said.
Abigail sat at the kitchen island, quiet, pensive, her eyes finally looking up. “I wish it were warm and we could go swimming or go to the beach and make sand castles or something.” I of course delighted in this, knowing that we’d already booked tickets to Florida. I didn’t want to ham it up too much, the way parents tend to do when they know something a child doesn’t, by moving too much in the other direction. “Yeah, that would be soooo much fun, but oh well, not happening. Sucks for us.” I just shrugged.

I thought of asking them to clean their playroom and hiding Florida-themed stuff where it doesn’t belong, like shovels and seashells, a big X marks the spot on the map, but it’s not very exciting that way–clever maybe, but not thrilling. Though being awoken and heading straight to the airport is a pretty magical moment in its own.

Stephanie Klein and Son

Perhaps, I will ask them tonight to choose one item in the house that represents or symbolizes something that they’d like to get out of their week’s vacation. For example, I’ll show them my camera and say, I want to make lasting memories this week, even if it’s right here at home with my family. After making a vomiting gesture, Abigail might take out her goggles and say she’d like to swim, even if it’s indoors. I might leave these within sight to plant the thought.

I’ll wake them in what will feel like the middle of the night (our flight is so early that it will still be dark outside), and they’ll watch a movie that I plan to make and play for them on an iPad to wake them, with special music, explaining that sometimes in life when you imagine good things and think good thoughts, and work even when things get really tricky, really great things can happen, and magic is alive and real and warm… and how important it is to connect with nature and family and fun (my mom & sister are there, hello!!)… and to get ready to make new memories and sand castles… Because it isn’t enough to wish for something… you have to wish AND be prepared… and be persistent… and be on time… why are you still in bed? Hello? We have a plane to catch! Yes, now! Seriously. Still waiting. The end. No, really, the end. Your bags are already packed. Except for your goggles. Hello? THE END!

(Now, I’d better go work on this movie! We leave for Florida this Sunday! Shh! It’s a surprise!) The end.



  1. GOD you have a beautiful way with words. The first paragraph precisely sums up how I feel about being able to have a child after dealing with infertility. Not exactly what you are talking about but you’ve just given me the words to describe something I’ve never been able to articulate.

    p.s. have an amazing, magical trip!

  2. What a wonderful idea! Imagine the confusion, then excitement, then total glee! Maybe video their watching the movie?

  3. Just have to mention that you look your very happiest in pictures when with your kids… pure joy comes across your face!

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