Andrea-Piunno_June

Dreaming Big. Saving Big.

A model. A teacher. An actress.

I distinctly remember daydreaming about my adult aspirations as a young child. I would set up make-believe runways in my bedroom. Following my catwalk performance, I would plan a lesson with my students (dolls) as I commanded their attention in our makeshift classroom. Next, I aspired so greatly to move to the silver screen, I kicked my dreams up a notch, auditioning for many real-life stage productions. Looking back, my modelling career never materialized and I never enrolled in teacher’s college. I also stopped acting before I graduated high school. But I’ve always had big dreams, and I hope my children share the same enthusiasm as they grow.

For now, my ‘little dreamers’ aspire to do everything humanly and super-humanly possible. Sometimes, my five year-old son says he wants to be a superhero when he grows up. He even plays make believe; introducing us to his custom-made super powers — which usually trump all other action hero abilities — whether they include breathing fire or turning everything to ice.

While she’s too young to grasp the reality of her adult aspirations, my two-year-old daughter adamantly says she would love to be a character from her favourite television show. That character is a talking dog pilot. Now, those are ambitious goals.

Dreaming big now means you can save big on your child’s education. The Heritage Education Funds #MyLittleDreamer digital campaign, which calls on parents to submit short videos of their kids explaining what they’d like to be when they grow up, is now in full swing, with more than $8,000 in prizing up for grabs.

My husband and I opened an RESP before our first child could sit up on his own. We consider ourselves fortunate, as we had the means to start up what began as a very modest education fund, but I remember being met with a bit of shock when our financial advisor forecasted a pricetag of about $100,000 for university education by the time our son turns 18. I realized it was time to prioritize setting aside cash so that both our children will be able to live out their dreams.

My children often have unrealistic aspirations, albeit adorable ones like “a tiger, mommy. I want to be a tiger.” It’s apparent humans simply can’t morph into the largest cat species on the planet, but the point is I want to support my children’s dreams, whatever they might be. Perhaps the tiger reference means my son will want to become a circus ringmaster, or maybe a veterinarian. I sure hope it’s the latter. More recently, he’s said he’d like to become a dentist, in part, to pay homage to his inaugural baby tooth, which recently fell out.

My daughter rarely leaves a room without toting around a baby doll, and her bed is covered in so many toys, sometimes it’s difficult to spot her in a lineup of dolls. Maybe she’ll decide to become a paediatrician, or a preschool teacher? I want to help my children reach those goals and I know investing in their future will help them get there.
For more details on the #MyLittleDreamer campaign, head to HeritageRESP.com/MyLittleDreamer.