One of my favorite things to do is ask kids “adult” questions. Earlier this week, Cannon asked if I knew what she wanted to be when she grew up. I answered, “please, tell me, maybe you can give me some ideas of what I should be when I grow up.” Well, apparently my life plan sounded way more interesting to Cannon because she quickly changed the topic and said, “Oh, I will tell you what you can be!”
1. “You will be Jamie’s bridesmaid.”
Jamie is the guy that I have been dating for the past five months. He is pretty perfect, 90% of the time, but we are certainly not discussing a lifelong relationship at this point. Cannon spoke to him on the phone one time and developed a mild crush.
I tried explaining to Cannon why I did not want to be Jamie’s bridesmaid (like, maybe she meant “bride”), but she ignored me and went on with her story (at least I knew what she meant).
2. “Then, you will live in a mansion.”
Before telling me that I would live in a mansion, she first asked what the word meant. Defining new words is an everyday conversation. I love how curious she is, and I appreciate that she wanted to validate the word “mansion” before telling me that I am going to live in a shack.
Okay, I will live in a mansion, but how will I afford it?
3. “Jamie will work at a police station.”
I have no idea where she got this idea. Jamie is good at budgeting money, but I am not sure he could afford a mansion with a police officer’s salary. Also, how did she decide this? She never explained her logic.
4. “You will own a bakery.”
Okay, this idea made sense. Cannon and I love to cook together. I would love to own my own bakery, but can someone else wake up at 4:30 in the morning to make the fresh bread? I am not a morning person until about 8 am (or until the coffee kicks in).
5. “There will be no arguments.”
6. “You will be twenty-five when all of this happens.”
When I asked Cannon how old I was in the story, she answered, “twenty-five… but wait, how old is Jamie?” I told her that he is already twenty-five. Her jaw dropped as though I just confessed to her that I am dating an old man. “Oh, wrong number…” she trailed off as though her story lost all of its validity. Regardless, I was recording the conversation between us, and she told me that I had to send it to Jamie.
Later that evening
Instead of showing the conversation to Jamie, I showed it to one of my best friends at SCAD. She laughed at how eagerly I encouraged Cannon’s story, as though Cannon was convincing me that I will one day marry Jamie, live in a mansion, and have someone else wake up at 4:30 am to make the fresh bread for my bakery.
Back to the Beginning
The content of Cannon’s story was not the reason for my enthusiasm. I have dreams much bigger than sleeping in and being a police officer’s wife. What I loved about her story is that she spoke with such certainty, like everything she said was possible.
I was scrolling through Instagram the other day and saw a quote that said something like this: “who told you that it wasn’t possible?”
I searched and searched for this quote, but I can not seem to find it again. Regardless, it had me thinking. No one has ever told me that I can not achieve something. Sure, my parents have urged me to seek more “practical” professions, but they have never told me that I was not capable; and yet, I somehow got the idea that there are possible and impossible things.
I love asking kids “adult” questions because their simplicity continually inspires me. “You can do this Emily, it’s this easy…” Kids do not complicate things with doubt, instead, they live and believe.
As an educator, I pray that the kids in my life know that they inspire me just as much as I inspire them; and that sometimes, they are wiser. As graduation creeps around the corner, I am battling my own doubt “What’s next? Do I really have to be an adult? Oh please, don’t let me be unemployed and have me live in a shack.” But Cannon did not see any of my fears as a possibility. Nope. I am going to live in a mansion.