Monday, December 3, 2007

Ninjas & Power Rangers

I love working with first graders.

Sometimes you just need the recharge. It's so refreshing to see these bright little spongy minds, with nothing to discourage them or make them self-conscious yet. They're lacking that horrible second-guessing themselves hiccup that all the rest of us are victims of. I love that!

One of my little hour-long sessions is about jobs: the purpose of jobs (to provide for our needs, and wants if there's some left over), to be productive members of society, and to make our communities better. In this topic, I always do the "What do you wanna be when you grow up?" thing, because its just so doggone adorable, and yes - refreshing. I follow every answer with "where do you get the training to find the skills you need for (whateveryouwannabe)?"

So this time I get the normal answers: vet, "army guy", policeman, fireman, race car driver, teacher, engineer (the train kind), doctor, lawyer...finally I get to Julian. Julian wants to be a ninja. Cool! So where do you get the skills you need to be a ninja?

From other ninjas. Duh. (eyeroll)

Halfway through our schpeel he changes his mind. Wait! Something better! Julian wants to be a Power Ranger. Right on! Where do you get those skills? (I know you're all dying to know.)

From other Power Rangers. Ner.

I can dig that. On the job training, right? Practice!

So while defending the universe is a great life goal, I'm wondering how he'll provide for himself and his family should he choose to have one. Maybe I should encourage him to be an army ranger, or a forest ranger, or a karate instructor, because I'm a grownup and that's what grownups do. Color inside the lines... dogs can't be purple, silly... girls can't work in construction... walk, don't run....

After a moment or two I thought better of that whole line of questioning. You know what? Who cares?The boy's got goals. He knows what he wants to do and who am I to discourage that?

I'll wait 12 years. It'll be awesome to see New Mexico's first Ninja Power Ranger, defending our universe.

You go, Julian.