Monday, January 13, 2014

Part 3: JD's Dream

Over the years JD has had several typical little boy dreams. At 4 he wanted to be a policeman because he really likes it when he goes to cross the parking lot and it makes cars stop and wait on him. It gave him a power trip. You get a gun and a whistle. What could be better?
Next was the fireman phase. It was based solely on getting to drive the big red truck. It was a short lived dream. He realized that picking a career based on the color of the vehicle you got to drive was a little silly. He went back to policeman for the remained of his preschool years.
I have a very clear memory of what came next. We were in the car, where all deep conversations start, and he asked me how one can make a living telling jokes. He wanted to be a stand up comic. He was 5. There is something a little scary about that to me, mainly because I think he is serious. Moms want their boys to grow up to be doctors and lawyers and things that provide a stable life. Stand up comedian is the exact opposite of that.
The most recent questioning has turned out a similar answer. His dream is to be a comedic actor or a spy. If recent headlines are to be believed, he could be both as long as he doesn't ask to be paid in cocaine.
I'm struggling a bit with this dream. I want to be supportive. I can totally see him being some sort of comic. He has those things you can't teach, like timing. He takes it seriously. He actually works on it (that is a struggle in pretty much every other area). We are letting him take drama classes this year. He is the only boy in the class. That did not stop him. He has to read and memorize lines. He does this without us helping at all. The only school project he has really gotten into this year involved dressing up as an explorer and giving a short presentation. He was one of the few kids who didn't use notes. He is good at this. So, why do I struggle? Do you know how many people want to be actors? Do you know how many of those people actually make a living doing that? On top of that, it is not a pretty industry. There is rejection and even at it's best it is still harsh and unpredictable. I don't want that for my baby.
He was Henry Hudson. We went for clever over elaborate. 
I'm not exactly excited about the spy idea either. He is too cute to be sneaking around Russia to uncover secret plots. He is too funny to be Jason Borne. I don't want people shooting at my little guy, or him shooting other people, for that matter. I'd never sleep.
That is the thing about dreams. They are rarely practical. They aren't always what other people would want for you. They are often scary. For now, I am finding a healthy balance of supporting the kid's dreams while also encouraging a realistic backup means of support. I can not wait to see what happens. No, wait, I take that back, I can wait. Seeing it comes at the cost of my babies growing up, and I'm not ready for that.

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