“What am I going to be when I grow up, Daddy?” TheMonk asks me as we cuddle on the couch.
I’m unsure what prompts the question but I look at him and I say, “You can be anything you want to be, Buddy.”
Not satisfied, TheMonk presses me for an answer, “But what am I gonna be, Daddy?”
“What do you want to be, Little Man?” I ask.
“I dunno.” he replies with sadness in his voice.
Son, we had this conversation just this morning. The first Tuesday in June when many states went to the polls to vote on important issues and, in some states, to elect a candidate for the office of the President of the United States. it is certainly a day to reflect on our future.
So coincidence or not, you asked me today, out of the blue, what you were going to be when you grow up and I tried to give you a bunch of alternatives. I asked you if you wanted to be a fireman, an astronaut, a race car driver or a baseball player – all of which you responded with a firm “No.”
And then, as the enormity of the day hit me and I looked into your eyes that reflect your Latino, African-American and Caucasian roots, I felt with all of my heart that you truly can be anything you want. “Do you want to be President of the United States, Monk?” I ask. And while you replied in the negative, such a thing too far out of your three-year-old world, today, more than any other day, that possibility is very, very real.
You see, my son, today the Democratic Party is poised to nominate the first African-American for the office of the Presidency. This is an historic time in our country and it makes me very proud to be able to look at you and know that you can truly aspire to become the President of our great country. Today, race is at the forefront of our national conscience and win or lose, Senator Obama stands for every little boy of color who says, “I want to be President someday.”
This election season has been historic in many ways. A woman and an African-American man each were poised to become the nominee of the Democratic party. It’s a reflection of our little world here and it makes me so excited for you and your sister’s future. This isn’t about our political views or a party affiliation. No, this is affirmation that anything is possible.
So, my son, to answer your question, you really can be anything you want to be. You can be a fireman, a race car driver and, yes, The President of the United States.
In fact, if you do become President you won’t be the only one in the family who wants to be a world leader.
“What do YOU want to be when you grow up, Swee’pea?”
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