What are you going to be?


cc licensed flickr photo shared by jspad

I’ll never forget the day my son came home from kindergarten, paper in hand and said, “The teacher said you have to read this.”

I still remember what the note said: “Dear Parents, this Friday we will be celebrating “Career Day”. Please assist your child in preparing for a small presentation that will be titled, “When I grow up I want to be…”.

Being the diligent parent that I am, I immediately asked my son, “Honey, what do you want to be when you grow up?”

Expecting to hear something along the lines of astronaut, scientist, football player or firefighter, I was completely aghast  to hear him whisper, “A ninja.”

“A what?” I asked, even though I had clearly heard his response.

“Mom, I said I want to be a ninja, so leave me alone already.”

Ah, the joys of motherhood.

So like any controlling responsible mother, I set out to brainwash create awareness in my child regarding the importance of  making the right career choice.

Fast forward four days later, and my heart soared as the heir to my throne said into the microphone, “When I grow up I want to be a cardiothoracic surgeon.”

Forget the fact that he totally mispronounced “cardiothoracic” and it came out “cardiosaurus”.

I beamed with pride.

Fast forward fourteen years. and my son is coming down the stairs dressed in his “costume” for a Halloween party he’s attending.

He says, “So mom, do you like my costume?”

I glance up to see him dressed in a pair of black jeans, black sneakers and a black hoodie.

I ask, “Are you supposed to be an Italian widower?”

He says, “Nope. Try again.”

I say, “Johnny Cash come back from the grave?”

He says, “Mom, get serious.”

I say, “Zorro without his mask?”

At this point he ties a black scarf over his mouth, pulls his hood over his head, and whips out a sword.

I hold my breath and hear him say, “Mom, I’m a ninja.”

Lesson learned: You can steer your child in the direction you want him to go, but in the end, he’s still going to be…a ninja.

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8 thoughts on “What are you going to be?

  1. I looooooove this. You know, I’m always surrounded by people in the medical field, and I sometimes forget that I don’t have to be a doctor or a nurse to be successful and happy. And then I remember that I never went through the “I wanna be a nurse” phase, even as a child. I recently found an old project from kindergarten at my parents’ house – and it said “When I grow up I want to be an author.” Unexpected from a five year old? Perhaps. Still true almost twenty years later? Yes, even though some days I’m afraid to admit it.

    I guess my point is – ninja on. :)

    1. I hear you! However, I went from homemade costumes for my children when I was a stay at home mom, to “whatever” I could whip together in two minutes flat when I was a working single mom! The irony is that my kid’s greatest memories are from those cardboard confections. :)

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