All the things I wanted to be

July 15, 2008 at 9:04 pm 2 comments

     “What did you want to be when you growed up, Mommy?” C asked me tonight. Like many little girls of my generation, I wanted to be a nurse, a cowgirl, Miss America and a ballerina. In my answer, I changed the nurse to a doctor, dropped Miss America and did my best to be mostly truthful while trying to stave off the inevitable decline into predetermined gender roles.

     “Did your dream come true, Mommy?” he asked a few moments later. We were in the midst of puzzle building and I didn’t really think we were having the same conversation we were having a few moments before. I asked him what he was talking about, and sure enough he was still in the same vein. “Did you become all those things you wanted to be?”

     I was sort of dumbfounded for a moment. How does one answer that question to a literal child? My dreams simply changed from childhood to adulthood, as most dreams do, so I didn’t want to make him feel as though my dreams didn’t come true. Yet there’s likely a real possibility C will become one of his current career aspirations, so I also didn’t want to dash his dreams by saying dreams change.

     Sure, the sight of blood and needles makes me swoon, so becoming a nurse/doctor really fell off my radar screen at about age 10. And yes, I did actually do the pageant thing for awhile, and also did the urban cowgirl thing for awhile. I even taught ballroom, country and Latin dance at Fred Astaire Studios, so I guess in a way, I did do some of those things, but I didn’t think that was the answer he was waiting to hear. As I sat there, pondering the meaning of life and trying to answer this child’s question without ruining his day, he reminded me that sometimes I overthink him. He simply continued on in his one-sided conversation and said, “Because I want to be a puzzle maker, and I can be anything I want to be.”

     You’re right, C, you’re right.

Entry filed under: autism. Tags: , , , , .

C-isms Part VI Dog days of summer

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. goodmum  |  July 16, 2008 at 8:15 am

    Too funny! We DO tend to overthink things when it comes to our little professors, don’t we? I can totally relate to this!

    I know – he remembers everything I say (and usually what day it was and what I was wearing when I said it and what he was wearing when I said it), so I feel like I have to be careful! We have such responsibility with these little ones, right? Hopefully we’ll do a good job with them!

  • 2. robinaltman  |  July 16, 2008 at 2:40 pm

    Hilarious story. I agree with C. You do overthink things with him! I don’t think any little slip or poorly phrased comment will scar him for life. (I’d better be wrong, here!) I’ll bet you’re C’s dream come true!

    I know – he’s always so earnest, though, and serious when he asks his questions. And SO many times I’ve stated something without thinking about it, and he reminds me of it months later when I say the opposite. He has the memory of an elephant! LOL!


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