We have never had a discussion about what Vi wants to become when he grows up. Mostly because he’s too small to think of these things, for God’s sake he’s only 4. What clue would he have about growing up and taking a particular profession? But I guess I was wrong as proved today morning on our way to school. Ok so I am getting emotional and my eyes are filling up even as remember that 4-minute talk we had. That’s how long it takes us to reach the school on foot. Out of the blue, he asks me, “Amma do u know what I want to be when I grow up?” I was like, yeah mouth open, completely lost. In my mind I am thinking like do you even know what growing up is. Or what this what I want to be thing refers to. So I put it in words and ask him, what exactly do u mean by growing up. So he goes on to explain, like when I am bigger and finish studying and after that. Somebody hit me on my head. It’s like I have not grown up and he has. Ok so understood that he knows what he means by growing up. Then I think and smile , hehe, he’s going to want to become a bus driver or firefighter or some kind of superhero (Kids usually love them). So I ask him, so what is this something that you want to be when you grow up? He says he wants to do something where he can help people. Ok, my brain is blown. I am just so choked up at this time at this tiny wonder who is speaking to me. He continues. He says he wants to be someone who helps people like a doctor or a police or that person who helps people cross the road. Yeah, I know where that last one came from. Last October, we visited his cousin in the USA, and there you have volunteers who hold up a sign and help you cross the road, mostly on the way to school. The other two are just a surprise package.
So I go ahead and tell him, yes you can be anything that you want. Amma is really happy to hear what you want to be. It makes Amma super happy. So he further emphasises that it’s not for fun that I am saying, I don’t just want to dress up as them, I want to really be that. Now it was serious. I explained to him, yes darling you can really do any of these professions but for that, you have to study hard and play hard and most importantly help people from now itself. If you want to help others, you can start right away. For that, you don’t need to study anything. You just need to be compassionate. And if you want to be one of those people because you believe it gives you a better opportunity to help others then we will support you through it all.
It is at moments like these you feel that there is so much to learn about that tiny that came from your womb. He is not his parents or his surroundings. He has come with his set of thoughts and aims.
Vi, it is normal that as we grow up our desires, aims and goals change with us. I hope that however big you grow, you never change this “What I want to be when I grow up”. This wish to help others, I hope that stays with you. Whatever profession you choose, I believe you will always be a compassionate person who cares about his fellow beings. We really need a lot of people like you in the world, right now.