Friday, October 23, 2009

Time to make the donuts

"Just six more years, and I can be president,” said my son from the back seat of the truck as we drove to dinner.

“I think you have to be at least 36,” said my husband.

“35, and you have to be a U.S. Citizen and have lived in this country for 14 years,” he said. “In six more years, I’ll be 14.”

Then he looks at his older sister, “Were YOU born in this country? How long have YOU lived here?”

“No, I was born in Italy. What do you think?”

“You were both born and raised right here in this town,” I said, trying to end the argument. “Either one of you can qualify.”

But, secretly, I was proud. My son wanted to be president, without my even suggesting it. Of course, I had always dreamed one of them would. The minute after they were born, and I realized they were healthy, I began to dream for them and dream big.

“I bet he makes a lot of money,” my daughter said.

“Well, not as much as you think,” I said, never wanting my children to pursue a career based solely on money.

“Yeah, he doesn’t make money,” said my son. “People just give him money!”

“Presidents also get lots of perks,” said my husband, “cooks, cars, airplanes …”

“And a big, white house!” my daughter added.

“I’m going to be president one day,” said my son, emphatically.

At this point, I was bursting with pride. I’ve always wanted my children to become the best they can be, to reach their full potential, and president - even though if I think about it would be horrible job - is the epitome of that. He wouldn’t be the first from a small Georgia town, either, and I told him so, as I turned and faced him in the back seat.

“What you need to do first is join the school council,” I said, as he nodded, seriously. “Then you need to become mayor, then state representative, and then you go to Washington to become a …”

“Ooh! Or I could work at Dunkin’ Donuts,” he exclaimed as we past the store. “I could eat all the leftovers and bring home fresh donuts every night, cream filled with chocolate, donut holes, sprinkles with chocolate, and they pay you money, too. Yum … I love the chocolate ones.”

“So, you are either going to president or work at Dunkin’ Donuts,” said his sister, her voice dripping with sarcasm.

“Yes, that’s right,” he said. “That’s okay, isn’t it, Mom?”

I didn’t even have to think about it because I knew the answer – I would be equally proud of either job because, ultimately, I just want my children to be healthy and happy and productive members of society. And, after all, someone’s gotta make the donuts.

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