When I Grow Up
“Dad?” my seven year-old asked, “What would you be if you weren’t a doctor?”
“Hmmm,” I replied, a little perplexed. “I guess I’d be a writer.”
“Really?” he exclaimed. “I bet you’ll write great books!”
Insert blush here.
“How about you?” I asked. “What would you be?”
“You mean when I’m not a doctor?” he returned.
Oh my, I said to myself. He already thinks of himself as a doctor. Latest survey in the US shows that 9 of 10 doctors do not recommend the profession to their children or peers. While there is less dissatisfaction from being a doctor in this Third World, I often tell friends to discourage their children from pursuing a medical degree.
Because it’s a long, hard, and lonely road. Been there, done that. Only if the child perseveres despite your objection, then you know he or she has what it takes to become a doctor. This is the Discerning Talk.
“I’m going to be a Science Guy, giving quizzes — like a game show, on TV!” he explained. “Did you notice that there aren’t any good Science shows? It’s always this cartoon, or that robot, or this funny show. I would like other children to learn science.”
He went on to spout so many facts, like how people die without water for three days, or the benefits of a nap, or how the creepiest parasites freak him out…
And just like that, this little guy has amazed me again.
Yes, we will soon have that Discerning Talk, where I wish you do NOT follow your dad’s footsteps. Because I love you too much for you to invest so much of your person in a vocation, only to have the Tax Man call you a cheat. Because I want you to be the best you can be, whatever that is.
Yes, Science Guy sounds really nice.