What Do Your Kids Want To Be When They Grow Up?
My 9-year-old son wants to be an actor. He tells everyone. He told me that he got up in front of the entire camp and said: I may be small, but on stage I am big.
That broke my heart. He is slight for his age and a middle child so it's no surprise that he wants to do something where he can claim the limelight. I, of course, don't want him to be an actor. I don't want him to be subjected to so much scrutiny and hardship. I want his life to be easier than that.
But his life is not mine to decide. And now I have to repeat that statement to myself 1,000 times daily until I believe it.
When I was young, I knew that I wanted to be a writer. It's all I remember wanting. I think I went through a brief flirtation of being a lawyer -- but that's because I thought it meant getting to state my personal opinion all the time. Luckily, I found a writing job where I can do both.
My eldest son wants to be an inventor. I'm not sure where the idea came from but it has stuck. There was a period when he wanted to be a video games tester -- which he is currently perfecting his qualifications for -- but reverted back to inventor so he could invent the games.
My daughter drew a picture recently of her as a police officer. I didn't realize that she had a penchant for law and order, but now that I think about it -- it does seem to fit.
No matter what my kids decide to do with their life, I am sure it will be hard and full of obstacles and, I hope, rewards. And I hope that I don't get too overly-invested in their decisions and allow them the freedom to succeed and to fail.
In this age of parenting, where everything our kids do reflects somehow on us (we can say that our kids' successes aren't a reflection of our parenting skills, but we know they are), how are we going to allow our kids to make mistakes? To be starving actors? Or failed inventors? Or to suit up wearing a gun?
I worry that we all have such high expectations of our kids that we won't be satisfied with anything less than whatever our neurotic parental desires tell us they should be. Our kids live under such a heat lamp of expectations -- our own, and now by extension theirs as well.
What do your kids want to be when they grow up?
Want more chaos? Last year, I listed the 12 least-useful baby gear items, according to me. Needless to say some people did not, ahem, agree.