PostHeaderIcon So Your Son Wants To Be A Chopper Pilot And A Plumber

By Jael Strong

One of the challenges we face as our kids grow older, is getting them to communicate. Jackson and I were drying dishes the other day and I decided that I should promote quality conversation by asking him, “If you could be anything in the world when you grow up, what would you like to be?”

Jackson didn’t think about it for even five seconds. He blurted out, “A Chopper Pilot.”

I have to admit that at first I couldn’t quite register what a chopper pilot is. I was very tired and had expected something more along the lines of doctor, lawyer, or Indian chief. But chopper pilot it was. “That sounds cool,” is all I said.

Apparently I had opened the floodgates of his imagination because he started to spew out the technical details of a chopper pilot’s day and what dangers he may confront. He wanted to fly for medical emergencies or natural disasters, all noble deeds. He also would like to dangle out of a helicopter while playing his bass guitar; the chopper would be piloted by his buddy.

I had many things I wanted to say. I wanted to tell him that was dangerous, or that the last part was a bit unrealistic. But I did the right thing this time, and I just quietly listened.

Two days later in the car he seemed to be moping a bit, so I asked him what was wrong. As a home schooled child, he was concerned that he wouldn’t be able to get the kind of education that he needed to pursue his hopes and dreams. (That’s not exactly what he said; that is my translation.) I told him, “Jackson, whatever you want to do when you grow up, I will make sure you have whatever you need to do it. What do you want to do?”

“I want to be a plumber,” he said.

He seemed satisfied. I was, too. I realize of course that he will change his mind a thousand times about what he wants to be when he grows up. I hope that what he wants to be has little to do with his profession, but more to do with the kind of man he will become. But in the meantime, I will keep my promise to help him, as long as his dream job is not along the lines of bank robber or arsonist.

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