Being a dragon
Last week at soccer practice my son’s preschool teacher asked me about my son’s Halloween costume. She told me that he had been consistently reporting to her that he was going to be a dragon and that his mom was making him a dragon costume. This was unique because the other kids in the group reported a different costume every day. At that time it was news to me because I was planning on matching robot costumes for my two kids. Though I had to admit that I knew in the back of my mind that he was going to be a dragon for Halloween.
I knew this because my son thinks that when he grows up he is going to be a dragon. He’s been saying this for the better part of a year. After watching Sleeping Beauty his grandma asked him if he was scared when Maleficent turned into a dragon. All he had to say was, “She turn into a dragon like I will turn.” A few nights ago he said that he is not a mom yet, and I told him that he wouldn’t grow up to be a mom he would grow up to be a dad. His response? “I not grow up to be dad. I grow up and be dragon.”
I find my son’s naive optimism distressing in some ways. Not because I’m worried about him, but because I wonder what his certainty says about my own certainty. I’m convinced that when I die and enter the afterlife that I will have left behind this world of sexism. I’m convinced that when I ‘grow up’ I’m going to be an agent, an actor, a person; and that everyone will accept that I have value in my own right, not merely for the services I provide to those who have value by default. I’m afraid that the casual certainty I have that my son will grow up to be a man, and not a dragon, is the same sort of casual certainty God has that I will grow up to be a role, not a person.
I don’t know if I’m right or not, but for now I’m going to keep roaring.