My three year old son just finished his bath. I helped him get dressed while watching the opening ceremonies for the 2008 Olympics. Every so often I ask him questions just to see what’s going on in that little head.
“So, what to you want to be when you grow up? What would you like to do?”
He thought a moment, uncurled a chubby finger and pointed at my chest. “I want to be like you, Dad. I want to be just like you.”
His unscripted response blew me away. I didn’t care about want was going on in Beijing. As far as I was concerned, I just won the gold medal of being a daddy.
Yet gold medals create pressure. My son’s words were wonderful – and frightening. Questions roll around my head, “Am I the kind of man I want my son to be? Am I the kind of father I want my son to be to his kids? Am I the kind of husband I want my son to be? Will he want to be like me when he is twelve? Sixteen? Twenty-five?”
There are many things I do well. And there are others that I don’t. While I’m happy with my momentary gold, I can’t help thinking about the next, and the next, and the next.
I guess that’s what it means to be a parent.