|In the Waiting Room — Great Expectations|
|Friday, June 07, 2013 12:10 AM|
While I was driving my son home from an appointment recently, I noticed he was looking thoughtfully out the window when he suddenly turned to me and said, “Mom, I know what I want to be when I grow up.”
I, of course, was excited to hear his answer. I thought, finally one of these long drives would result in a long heart-felt discussion that would give me a deeper awareness of my son’s dreams and desires. These moments are few and far between when you have a teenage boy, so I was all ears to hear his answer.
“What is that?” I asked with anticipation of my son’s intelligent, well thought out response that I was sure was coming.
“I want to be a hamster.”
I must have misunderstood; this wasn’t the parental moment I was hoping for.
“You want to be what?”
“A hamster. But I would have to have a hamster ball because that would be awesome to run around in. I could nod at the ladies as they drove by and say, ‘Whaat’s uuuup ladies’?”
Well, so much for a deep conversation.
“You do realize that ‘the ladies’ aren’t all that interested in rodents, even if they do have a hamster ball and speak cool street lingo? Also, it won’t get you out of any homework, because if my son is going to be a hamster, he better be a smart one.”
My son laughed, “What would be the point of being a smart hamster?”
“That is my point exactly. If you are going to set goals, you might as well set them as high as possible. Evolving to a different species probably isn’t a great career move.”
I have been doing a lot of school physicals recently, from kindergarten to high school. What I have noticed is that I have a lot of future doctors, astronauts and zookeepers among my preschoolers. By the time they are in high school, expectations have changed. Many just want to be done with school and get a job. Which is fine as long as they have an overall game plan.
I try to express to my patients that life shouldn’t be something that just happens, it should be something that you make happen. It is better to set a course and aim for it than to drift aimlessly until you hit something. It may turn out all right but your life is too important to just put up to chance. I hope they listen to me.
I hope my son listens to me, too. He is making progress. When he was entering kindergarten, his goal was to grow up to be a dinosaur. So at least he has moved from the reptile family to being a mammal. I have seen the messes he makes in my house, so at this point, he is probably more rodent than human anyway.
He is in the seventh grade now. By the time he leaves high school, I am hoping he has made the jump to homo sapien. A mom can dream, can’t she?
Dr. Celeste Lopez graduated cum laude from The University of Utah College of Medicine. She completed her Pediatric residency training at the Children’s Hospital of Michigan. She is certified with The American Board of Pediatrics since 1992. In 2003 she moved her practice, Wishing Well Pediatrics, to Delphos and is located at 154 W. Third Street. She is the proud mother of a 13-year-old son.