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EVANS: Dreaming of our kids’ futures

Most parents look at our children and we wonder exactly what kind of an adult life they are going to live.

We picture what their families will be like, where they will live and what kind of jobs they will have.

From early on we start to ask our children what they want to be when they grow up.

We ask about what they want to study in school. We try to find out what drives them so we can help to steer them in the right directions.

We have had these same conversations regularly with our kids. Regularly my boys will tell me randomly what they want to do when they grow up, or what they will feed their kids (partially because as kids they would be so thrilled if I would let them eat out every day).

When my eldest son was probably 4 years old, I had a very exciting job. I worked as an X-ray tech at a local hospital.

Every morning when I would leave out for work, he would ask when would I be home, and what was I doing that day.

Each afternoon when I got in, he would ask what I did that day.

Truth be told, he was 4 and did not have much understanding about mommy’s job.

What he did understand was that I told him that I was going to help sick people feel better. He understood that my job involved helping people.

Also when he was 4, he accidentally left a toy train in my purse. When I found this train once I was at work, I proceeded to take pictures of the train doing things. I took pictures of him sitting at the computer, laying on the X-ray table and having his lunch break.

To a 4 year old, this was awesome. In his mind, the train had gone to work for the day and had actually helped mommy do her job.

As a result of the train’s adventures, both kids started “accidentally” leaving toys in my purse.

Not long after this, my 4 year old announced that he wanted to be an X-ray tech like mommy when he grew up. It was a profound moment for me. My kid actually wanted to be like me when he grew up.

Fast forward a few years, and you will see entirely different thought processes, and entirely new dreams and aspirations.

My eldest son has discovered video games. Most of our favorites include building with blocks and creating his own worlds. Again, we have continued to have conversations regarding what they want to be with they grow up. As he has aged, he has started to focus on his own likes and dislikes in deciding what he wants to be when he grows up. Just last week he proclaimed that he was going to build video games when he grew up.

My youngest loves all cats. Recently I found a video of him when he was probably 2, sitting on my parent’s couch attempting to pet a cat who was not enthused about this tiny human invading her space. He has always loved “cat-cats.”

He recently announced that he wanted to have the easiest job possible and do deliveries like daddy. Then he announced, I will deliver cat food to cats like daddy delivers food to people. I should have known his future would be focused on cats. Just about a year ago, his only aspiration was that he would have lots of cats.

As parents we will continue to dream and wonder about what our kids lives will be like as they grow.

We will continue to push them towards their goals, helping them to reach as many of them as possible.

We will continue to ask questions, dig deeper and help them to discover what will make them happy in the future.

While I sit back and think about my little boys’ dreams, I hope that you too will embrace your kids futures, even the dreams that seem silly right this second.