Last weekend at our block party three of the local firefighters drove up in their engine to talk to the kids and let them check out the truck and equipment. One of the firefighters pulled out the Jaws of Life and asked Henry to try to lift it. Henry tried and tried, but was unable to budge it at all.
The firefighter asked, "How are you going to become a firefighter when you grow up if you can't lift the Jaws of Life?" and Henry replied, "I'm not going to get a job when I grow up." The firefighter laughed and said, "Whose kid is this?" I raised my hand and said, "Oh, he's already told me that he's living at home forever."
It was funny, but the truth is, I don't understand why we put so much pressure on kids to know what they want to "be" when they grow up. Aren't they already being something right now? And aren't people more than the jobs they do for money?
I've assured Henry that he doesn't ever have to get a job or move out because I know that he'll most likely want to do both eventually anyway. I don't really see the point in arguing with him about it right now. In fact, I think giving him the freedom to just be right now allows him to develop his interests and goals naturally.
Henry brought the incident up again a few days later and clarified: "I will have a job when I grow up, but I'm going to decide what that job is later, when I'm big."