|I'm a big kid.|
Remember those old Toys R Us commercials? "I don't wanna grow up. I'm a Toys R Us kid..." That's me.
I want to run in the sprinkler with my daughter. I want to play Candy Land with her even though Candy Land is the never ending bane of every parent's existence. I want to ride the rides with her at the boardwalk all night and then eat funnel cake until I'm nauseous.
I want to ride my bike to the deli and play Mr. Do while drinking Yoo-Hoo. Just like I did when I was a blonde-haired, skinny kid.
I want to be that chunky, uncoordinated pre-teen who dreamed of playing football in the NFL, of quarterbacking the New York Jets to a Super Bowl championship. I want to be that cocky but still unsure teenager who thought he could be the next legendary play-by-play voice of the New York Yankees.
I want to be a kid again so I can dream impossible dreams that aren't so impossible.
Now that I am grown up, I know exactly what I want to be. I want to be a teacher. I want to be a dream keeper. I want to teach my daughter and the still-to-be-conceived second child that we keep talking about having, yet keep putting off, the error of my ways. I want to tell them it's ok to dream. I want to encourage their dreams. Nourish and nurture them.
What do I want to be when I grow up? A dad who sits in the stands, or the audience, or the pew with pride in his heart and tears in his eyes.
I am a grown up. My dreams are now the dreams of my children.
My path has brought me here
Make no mistake: I have no regrets about my life. I have a wonderful wife, an amazing child, a great house and I get paid to do something I truly enjoy. Sure, a little more money could ease some of the stress. Yes, we'd like more living space downstairs. But I have no complaints. I'm here because I chose to be here. There's no place else I'd rather be.
And while the path I chose to get here may not be the one I'd choose for my child(ren), had I not traveled it I would be somewhere else. I would be someone else. And maybe not as happy. Maybe not as content.
My dream is simple. It's for my family to live long happy healthy lives. To love and to be loved. To laugh and to make people laugh. To enjoy the simple things and endure the difficult ones.
What do I want to be when I grow up? A granddad, surrounded by my children and grandchildren, listening to the next great play-by-play voice of the Yankees, or watching the next great young quarterback lead the Jets to another Super Bowl championship.
Happy. Proud. Content. That's where I want to be. I'm well on my way.