Wednesday, January 31, 2007

My Son's Brilliant Careers

One of the many ways my son Adam brings joy to my life is discussing his future plans with him.

He has always loved airplanes, and last summer I took him on his first airplane flight, to see my parents in Tennessee. Since then, his career plan has been to become a pilot.

This was not always the case. When he was very little, he desired to be a baseball player, like his hero Sammy Sosa. We live fairly close to Wrigley Field, so he's gotten to see "Old Corky" and lots of other Cub greats play a number of games.

He plays little league every summer. I remember that the first time I signed him up for baseball was the day that the Space Shuttle Colombia was destroyed. Maybe this was an omen.

I happened to have the day off of work (I think it was my beloved Pulaski Day) on the first day his team, the Minor League Tigers, had practice. He was chatting up the coach and told him that he loved baseball and planned on having a great season. Coach John asked to see a display of his prowess, handing him a baseball and asking Adam to throw it to him.

Adam wound up and threw. The baseball went almost perfectly perpendicular to where he had aimed.

"Well, I think I'm going to be more of a hitter."

He improved rapidly, and continues to enjoy baseball, but has definitely dropped it as a career plan.

Since he was a baby, he's loved money-- not just the concept, but physical money. One of his first words was "coint"-- his word for "coins."

When he was three or so, he came to me and told me he'd made a decision: that he'd decided that he was going either a policeman or a bank robber.

Dad: "A bank robber?"

Adam: "Yes, they make a lot of money."

Dad: "Aren't you afraid of being arrested?"

Adam: "What do you mean?"

Dad: "Robbing banks is against the law. If you get caught, you get arrested."

Adam: "Oh. Well then maybe I should just be a policeman."

He went through a period a couple of years ago where he decided he was going to be a hockey player. Never mind that he could hardly skate at that point.

My landlord and upstairs neighbor is a season ticket holder for the Chicago Wolves, and invited Adam and I to a game. My son had been to a Black Hawks game when he was little, but our seats had been high up in the stands of the United Center. This game was at the Allstate Center (it used to be the Rosemont Horizon), a much more intimate setting. And we had seats near the ice.

It was a good game-- lots of contact. At some point, a player checked another player into the boards near us with an impressive concussion that we could feel from where we sat. I don't think Adam had considered this aspect of the sport-- his jaw dropped at the force of the check.

He never brought up being a hockey player again.


Bubs said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bubs said...

Pilot is cool!

I love watching the development of career plans. My eldest has gone from Egyptologist, chef, fashion/costume designer to special effects makeup artist.

My youngest went from undecided, to cop, to actress, to undecided.

Mob said...

Ah, hockey, the only sport where a fight is briefly interrupted by the playing of a game of some sort...

I would pull for pilot if you wanna fly for free, but with the steadily increasing security measures, it might not be worth your time.

Wall Street for the interest in the coinage?

Palette said...

Ewan wants to be an animal cruelty investigator or a chef. He said to me that his dreams of being a sommelier were sidelined by his having to take aytypical antipsychotic medication.

GETkristiLOVE said...

Funny, I saw a similar hit at my first close-up hockey game and that made me want to play.

Alasdair said...

When I was a boy, I am told, I was asked what I wanted to be when I grew up. "A bear," said I. I guess that would be popular in Chicago, but I grew up, mostly, in Oregon.

Toccata said...

A bank robber! Too funny. I love how he so easily made the switch to a policeman.

The Space Shuttle Colombia blew up on my birthday.

Johnny Yen said...

Pilot would be cool, for sure. He has a phenomonal sense of direction. My last trip to Tennessee, around Christmas, I took a wrong turn, and he successfully navigated an alternate route on a windy country road he'd never been on. I had, as it turned out, but was completely lost. Even when he was a couple of years old, he would tell me I'd made a wrong turn-- and he'd be right.

Cop to actress? That's pretty funny!

His first flight was just a few days after the who hullabaloo about someone trying to take bomb ingredients on a plane this summer-- remember, no bottled water? I thought, jeez, what an intro to flight.

Flying would have to be really difficult for it to be free and not worth my while. I love to travel. I think he'll stick to numismology (coin collecting) for the coins. On the other hand, he's already got a grand saved up from his paper route and allowance, and is nagging me to investing it. Maybe Wall Street after all.

I see Ewan doing something creative. Chef definitely would fill that bill.

I played a lot when I was younger (street hockey), and yes, that aspect of it's great-- there's a peace you feel after you've gotten out there and checked the shit of a couple of your best friends.

I love how "bank robber" was just another career option. I kept thinking of the old Clash song "Bank Robber"--"My daddy was a bank robber/But he never hurt nobody..."

About the same time he came to me and told me that he'd made a decision-- that he wanted a brother. And upon further thought, he wanted an older brother. It was pretty funny.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Tell your lad he's got plenty of time to decide between bank robber, cop, baseball player or pilot. I STILL don't know what I want to do when I grow up.

Johnny Yen said...

I'm right there with you on that.

And remember Tom Robbins' advice in my favorite book, "Still Life With Woodpecker"-- it's never too late to have a happy childhood.

Natalie said...

Hockey players also smell really bad. Something about sweating in all those leather pads.