The other day, my three year old Granddaughter, Ava, was sitting on my lap as we watched her brother Jake, play soccer. She was eating goldfish from a small plastic bag when she turned to me and said in her sweet little voice, “When I grow up I want to be an astronaut.”
I told her she could be anything she wanted to be and that being an astronaut might be fun and exciting. She popped another goldfish in her mouth and without missing a beat, she said, “What do you want to be when you grow up, Grandpa?”
I started laughing until I saw her looking at me, waiting for an answer. I didn’t know how to tell her that I never grew up and had no plans to do so; that I try to follow the phrase, you’re only young once, but you can be immature forever. But I figured that conversation would have to wait a few years even though Jake is beginning to understand that his grandfather might be a little off center.
So I simply said I wasn’t sure yet but when I decide, I’ll let her know. She took in another goldfish, nodded her head as she watched Jake play and said, “If I don’t become an astronaut, I think I’ll be a ballerina.” I told her it was a good backup plan just in case the astronaut gig didn’t work out.
She nodded her head like she had it all figured out. Then she went back to eating goldfish and watching soccer.
Sometimes life’s decisions are that simple. And then we get older and complicate things.
Simple is better.
Three year olds rule.