Recently, while asking my children what they wanted to be when they grew up I got the following responses. Abigail twirled and then replied, “A ballerina!” Christopher put his hands on his hips and shouted, “A firefighter!” and Benjamin raised a finger to his mouth in deep thought and said “Hmmmm, a bicycle.”
When do we stop believing we can do or be anything?
I love that nothing limits them at this point. That same freedom makes them complete hazards to themselves but it also makes them absolutely beautiful. Their responses to common questions are the purest example. What do you want for your birthday? A paddy cake. What do you say when you ask for something (hoping to hear please)? I want something! What would you like for dinner? Ice cream and Nutrigrain Bars. No worries about judgement or consequences. No concern for societal convention.
We tell our children two very different things as they grow up. When they are little we tell them, “You can be anything you want to be if you put your mind to it” and then when they are getting ready to go to college we tell them, “That’s sweet that you want to be a Philosophy major but how exactly do you expect to pay your rent.”
We can’t live this pure unadulterated freedom as adults but what if we all dreamed a little more and worried a little less? Like so many other things in life, I think it’s probably a balance…..but for what it’s worth I think he would make the best bicycyle ever.