“Howie, what do you want to be when you grow up?”

I turned around to the bed where Gerry and Howie were laying before bedtime.  Our nightly routine after showers is Howie watches “The Backyardigans” in my bed and Gerry reads his library book in his room while Tim reads stories to Lewis and puts him to sleep.  Tonight, Gerry was reading his book in bed next to Howie.  He looked up from his book and asked the question again.

“Howie, what do you want to be when you grow up?”

“A race car driver”, answered Howie.  A pause and then “What do you want to be when you grow up Gerry?”

“A professional baseball player, of course”, answered Gerry.

I had to turn around at this moment to bite my lip.  As parents, we all think to the future, wondering what kind of people our kids will become and what great things they will do in their lives.   But if you had asked me six months ago if I could have envisioned Howie becoming a race car driver – a kid who had a hard time with the loud noises at the Monster Truck races at age 2 – I would have said no way.  And if you had asked me three months ago if I could have imagined that Gerry and Howie would be having a conversation about their future lives, I would have laughed, considering this kind of back and forth social discussion was foreign to Howie.

This ever-so-simple exchange between two brothers was an indication of just how far Howie had come with all his hard work.  It was a reminder to me that I needed to focus on all his accomplishments in this short amount of time, and not dwell on the tough work  that still needed to be done.  In his mind, there was no reason why he couldn’t be a race car driver when he was older.  With the right help and supports, he could be that and so much more.

I turned back around and complimented them both on their excellent future career choices.  If you’re looking for me in 15 years, you can find me splitting my time between Fenway Park and the speedway in Loudon, NH.

“Mamas don’t let your babies grow up to be cowboys.
‘Cos they’ll never stay home and they’re always alone.
Even with someone they love.” – Waylon Jennings

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