I tend to ask Batman what he wants to be when he grows up periodically. I like to hear his big ideas. I also ask him how he derived at this choice for himself.
As his parent, I am expected to guide him in his decisions. As a life coach, I stand to help him realize that no goal is to big or too small and each of them can be achieved. I am also required to generate opportunities for experiences external of his scope. I firmly believe that we build our beliefs around the experiences that we have collected.
So recently, during one of our little chats, I asked him what he wanted to be when he grows up. Enthusiastically, he responds with “Everything!” to which I chuckled a bit. I then inquired, “What does everything mean to you?” He then explains that he wants to be a parent, a Soldier, a Police Officer and an “at-home-dad”. He then goes so far as to say that if he couldn’t be an at-home-dad that he would be everything except for that.
I was blown away, but two things stuck out to me. The first thing was that he believed that he could be all of these things. His belief in himself was inspiring to me. I believed in him too. I could actually see the vision that he created for his life. These were feasible goals and a far cry from last years ideas of growing up to become Batman and Superman at the same time (not that anything is wrong with that).
The second thing that stood out to me was the place where this vision generated. He said he wanted to be an “at-home-dad” (which I thought was adorable) because of his grandfather, my dad. My father is retired, after giving his service to DCPS (District of Columbia Public Schools) as a music services technician. From my scope, as a kid, I was inspired by my father’s line of work because he had the ability to get up every morning and do a job that he loved. He is a trained musician and I always bragged to my friends that my father could play at least one song on every instrument.
Wrapping my mind around the influence that my son’s grandfather had on him allowed me to reflect on the influence that my grandfather (my dad’s dad) had on me. When I was a kid you couldn’t tell me my grandfather wasn’t the coolest guy in the world. Our relationship was (and still is) super tight. My grandfather served in the US Navy and fought in the tail end of World War II and the Korean War. He is a Veteran on Foreign Wars. However, during his time of service, his advancement opportunities and opportunities for lateral exploration were limited due to his race. I joined the military because of this; because of his limited opportunities and to redeem his service to his country.
All of this talk about opportunities brings me back to the initial conversation with Batman. I found myself concerned about broadening his experience resume, even at a young age. He deserves to see different places and meet different people. He deserves to travel abroad. His independence and his personal growth depend on it.
I am excited to be the mother of such an amazing little boy but I can’t help but wonder if he wants to be an “at-home-dad” because mommy is a working mommy and he wishes he had more time with me. Either way, we have a lifetime of amazing experiences ahead of us.