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I'm not one for creating family traditions, but that's because I have a terrible memory and don't want the the responsibility of keeping track.

This one I think I can handle though, especially with the help of my Google calendar to remind me.

This year we have each child a tape measure - I know, we spend big in this house - and each Christmas Eve we will measure them and write down what each them wanted be when they grow up.


Alfie was a given, I had hardly finished the question when he gave me the usual answer.

Olive? Well she just wants to be bigger.

Esme surprised me though. I tried to  explain the concept to her, and gave her lots of options and she thought for a moment, little brow furrowed, before announcing "I do dancing" and giving a little wiggle.

This is not a legal and binding commitment on the part of my children to their future careers, but my reaction to their choices surprised me.

I hope my children find careers that give them joy, but secretly, I had hoped that at least one of them would want to do something that uses their brains.

Such is the nature of small children, they are physical creatures and mine more than most.

It was good learning for me as well. A pointed lesson in the reality that my children are willfully, unbiddably their own people and my hopes for them, however romantic, are my own.

Recognising that, and respecting my children's right not to be burdened by my expectations might well be one of my hardest journeys.

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