Last night, my eight-year-old asked me what ambition meant.
I said it’s something you hope to work hard to do.
She said, “Then why is it bad that Hillary Clinton is that?”
This is a fair question but a tough one to answer.
Then she said, “What are your ambitions?”
This is the sort of question that eight-year-olds love to pose and that are often very difficult to answer. The answers are too complicated to distill into something comprehensible by a child or too big to discuss in the time allotted (she was brushing her teeth; her toothbrush’s timer was counting the moments) or too hard to formulate first thing in the morning or at the end of a too long day or too sweeping to narrow down to something manageable.
But in this case, I knew instantly and answered easily.
“My ambitions are to raise you up to be a strong, smart, happy, successful human in the world and to write words that make that world a better place.”
Some days that seems doable, some days not so much.
Some days that seems modest, some days impossibly grand.
Some days the first part seems much harder than the second, a fact which is telling about so many aspects of my life.
But as far as ambitions go, at least they’re clear.
About The Author
Laurie Frankel writes novels (reads novels, teaches other people to write novels, raises a small person who reads and would like someday to write novels) in Seattle, Washington where she lives on a nearly vertical hill from which she can watch three different bridges while she's staring out her windows between words. She's originally from Maryland and makes good soup.