I try to love all children equally but I must admit that I especially love my 11 year old son, Gabriel. And I watch with a certain amazement as he becomes a much better person than I am.
By “better” what I mean is that Gabriel is more “well rounded”. At an age where my only goal was to win the love of Ann Daley and win the 12 and under Interfaith Basketball League of Columbia, S.C ., Gabriel speaks and writes Chinese, does karate, plays the violin, writes excellent poetry, understands the basics of Latin, makes straight A’s and understands dogs with a “dog whisperer” sort of paranormal skill.
I must be honest, I do not worry about Gabriel at all.
Most parents worry about what their children will become. They worry, “Will he marry the right person?”. “Will he be successful?”. “Will he be happy?”. I told Gabriel just recently “You already have everything it takes to make the right decisions in life. You’re smart and kind and hard working. You know who to trust and who to keep away from. You have everything it takes to do just fine.”
My confidence in who Gabriel is makes it very easy for me to work for “charity” at “charity wages”. I work on behalf of children that are in much greater need than Gabriel or myself. You know, the children that Sally Struthers, Angelina Jolie and I represent, the sprites that need clean water and a rudimentary education.
A couple of days ago, Gabriel said to me “I want to be an environmental lawyer…because they make a lot of money.” I laughed and said “Environmental lawyers don’t make a ‘lot’ of money. They can make a nice living but it’s not the path to great wealth.”.
And Gabriel responded “No, what you do is go to work for the factories that are in environmental trouble. And you help clean them up and then you own a percentage of the factory. An environmental lawyer can make over a million dollars a year.”.
And I had to admit to Gabriel that he was right. This is a path to great wealth. My kid was already pulling himself up by the bootstraps. Fighting his way out of poverty…at 11 years of age.
Then Gabriel said to me, “If I make a million dollars a year, I can buy a house. And not have to rent a house month to month.”
Both Gabriel’s Mother and I rent our domiciles.
Suddenly, I got it. Gabriel was rebelling.
Kids will do whatever it takes to rebel from their parents and in this case, he was rebelling by becoming a Capitalist. Not just a Capitalist but a Capitalist Industrialist. Somehow, I had raised Alex P. Keaton from “Family Ties”.
Gabriel certainly understands the ethics of giving and charity work but it’s looking like he wants something else from his life.
Recently, Gabriel hung out for a couple of hours, a couple of times with the only true Industrialist I have ever known. A true Forbes Fortune 400 Industrialist…the exact opposite of me. Gabriel and the Industrialist got along great.
And I’m left wondering, did this captain of industry somehow have more influence over my child in casual conversation that I had in a decade of parenting?
Last week, while looking at my bank account that revealed my net worth of $19.43, I did feel that perhaps I have neglected Gabriel in not having provided more security.
And then I realized that neither Gabriel nor I have ever gone hungry, we have never been left unsheltered or in danger. And there’s no reason to think that this will change in the future. So, I’ll plug along with my charity work. Because as Gabriel asked me “Can I study math and science and still get into medical school?”. I reassured him that Law Schools are most happy to have students with a background in math and science rather than anthropology and sociology, keeping quiet on my thoughts that a background in math and science will make his rise toward being an “Environmental Lawyer” even more likely.
I just don’t worry about this kid. Never did and certainly do not worry now.
All I can say is it appears that good sense and Capitalism skips a generation.
I’m getting the feeling that it’s going to get to be even more fun watching this kid grow up.