Several years ago, our small family was touring Boston when I captured a photograph of my son. I think he was wearing a new “Wicked Smaht” t-shirt and an M.I.T. hat. Passing Fenway Park, his eyes seemed to be tracking everything that rolled by. That is when I took a moment to capture him “at rest”. He has grown too used to the ever-present camera and it is hard to catch him off guard. I cannot say for certain what he was thinking at the time, but I like to believe he was dreaming big.
These days, much to the joy (and, admittedly, occasional frustration) of his parents, he is still dreaming big. The M.I.T. hat, I believe, was lost that same day, but like most young people, his dreams stick with him. This year has been a good one for him. This week, in particular, was a memorable landmark.
I remember being young and feeling like almost anything is possible. I also remember reaching that stark realization that many of my dreams were simply out of reach. Not everyone is born to throw sliders from the pitchers mound at Dodger Stadium, after all. There are plenty of dreams that I managed to snag along the way, but none of them have been quite as rewarding as watching my son snag some of his own.
This year, he has earned another rank in Scouts, putting him easily within striking range of his Eagle before he ages out. That is quite an achievement and the skills he has learned will serve him well throughout his life. Add that, at only fourteen years of age, he has started working towards a pilot’s license. Yes, that’s right. Forget teaching him how to drive: He has wings!
But this week, he reached a milestone which will help put him in control of dreaming big all by himself. This week, he received his first paycheck.
Now comes the hard part: Learning to adult.
I still like to dream big. I just hope he’ll continue dreaming big in a way that puts me to shame.