It’s past bedtime, and our little boy should be asleep. But when I go to check on him, his mind is too full to sleep.
“When I grow up,” he says, “I’ll fly around the world in less than 72 days.”
We talk about how amazing that would be and all the technology he might be able to use. We wonder whether he could teleport at all. Where would he go? What would he see?
I finally kiss him goodnight and head off to bed myself.
And I start thinking, what did my fourth-grade self dream about all those many years ago? What if I had imagined what is actually true today?
When I grow up, I’ll be able to make dinner in less than a half hour. I might burn it sometimes, but most days it will be edible.
When I grow up, I’ll remember my childhood phone number and the smell of the rose petals and mint leaves we used to crush in the backyard. I’ll be able to close my eyes and be playing baseball in the alley or running to the gate with our dog, bouncing joyfully as we head out for a walk.
When I grow up, I’ll have a bunch of inside jokes with my siblings. They’ll still be able to make me laugh in a way only someone who’s known you your whole life can.
When I grow up, I’ll be married to the most wonderful man who loves me completely, and I’ll wonder why I’m so fortunate. I still won’t load a dishwasher very well, and he will stifle a sigh as he reorganizes it. But we will share a home and a life together.
When I grow up, I’ll have two beautiful children who light up our world, and I’ll ask God every day to help me to be the mother they deserve.
When I grow up, I’ll listen to my children’s hopes for the future and encourage them to dream.
I don’t think I imagined any of that back when I was 10 years old.
But I believe now what I believed then, that everything and anything is possible. And you don’t need to fly around the world to make the most of this precious time on earth.
And one day, we will all discover what wonders await us—when we grow up.