August 08, 2001

Lucas wants to be a lot of things. His outlook on life is that of limitless possibilities. When I was growing up, I remember wanting to be lots of different things. Funny how it all sort of revolved around which TV show I was watching at the time.
Lucas doesn’t watch much TV for a five year old. He watches pre-recorded videos mostly. Not a lot of five year olds have most of Liar Liar memorized, but he does. Try to look past the fact that he watches movies that are PG-13 or higher. He has goals. He sat down next to me in my office downstairs today and asked me if I knew what he was going to be first when he grew up. I told him I thought he was going to be a teacher. He explained that yes he was going to be a teacher, but that was just not what he was going to be first. I am going to be a policeman first. You know, when you drive too fast and you get so many tickets that they will take you to jail? (A scene from Liar Liar) Then, after that he will be a doctor, a teacher, a fireman, an astronaut, and a coach. Not necessarily in that order. The order he lists them is always different, but the multitude of roles is always represented. I know he isn’t old enough to understand that although people do switch careers several times during their lives, on average, you don’t see that kind of variance in vocation very often. I certainly know that he won’t understand the sheer terror that a major switching guru could potentially cause a parent to experience, at least not yet. But my sociological question is this; when did we make the transition from kids wanting to be one thing at a time, and changing their minds frequently to kids expecting that they will be able to “do it all” during their lifetimes? I think it speaks directly to the culture we live in. Gone are the days of following in your father’s footsteps, being an accountant because that’s what Dad was. Notice that Lucas’ list does not contain any reference to computers or the Navy? I think Lucas knows he lives in a world where a lot is expected of everyone and work is sometimes placed higher on the priority list than it should be. I think I will have to start adjusting my priorities a bit, I feel like I might be part of the reason he is perceiving the world the way he is. I will teach him. He just told me he wants to learn how to be a grownup. I think he is rushing things a bit. I will have to write more about that later.
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