little kid is still adamant that he will never, ever live apart from me.
He wanted to be a "shooter" (his word for soldier) when he grew up. This topic always upset Big Kid greatly.
"You can't be a shooter, little kid, it's dangerous! Do you really want to kill people? War is bad! Shooting people is bad! What if you died? Mom--little kid is saying he's gonna be a shooter again."
Regardless of my position on the current war and military spending, I do believe all soldiers are heroes. Every one of them, by default, just for signing up. I am eternally grateful for their sacrifices and service and I have nothing but admiration for them and their families, who are also heroes for living the lives they lead to support our soldiers.
That being said, I'm not out to raise heroes. Call me selfish, add me to the "bad persons" list (I'm probably already on there) but the very thought of either of my children wanting to be in the military makes me feel sick with dread and worry.
I knew better than to act upset over a 3-year-old's threats to enlist though, mostly because he would definitely love the idea forever if he knew how much I hated it. So I thought of a better tactic:
"Being a shooter is a very important job and it's a good job, soldiers do a wonderful thing for our country. It is very hard for them because they have to live away from their families when they are away at war."
"They lives away from their mudders?" He looked worried.
"Yes. For a long time. Maybe years."
"Can you be a shooter and still live wif your mumum?"
"Nope. Hey, you could be a policeman! They have guns and they can live with their moms."
(So maybe I'm willing to raise a hero after all.)
"Cops can live with their mumums? In they own houses?"
"I'm gonna be a cop! I'm thinkin' I'll be a good cop, you know why?"
"'Cuz I'm good at beatin' up my bubby!"
(Okay, maybe I spoke too soon on the whole hero thing.)
"That's not how it works, little kid. Cops don't beat people up. People are innocent until proven guilty--policemen can't treat everyone they arrest like they are bad guys."
"But what about the bad guys? Can I beat up the bad guys?" I told him I didn't think so.
During a later conversation I suggested that he would make a good astronaut.
"I am NOT bein' an astronaut!! Why would you want me to be a astronaut?!" He seemed angry at the suggestion.
"I don't know...it's exciting and amazing, you could ride on rocket ships and do science--"
"I'm not bein' an astronaut and livin' on a whole 'nother world from you! I'm livin' with you forever, 'member? Not in outer space!"
"Oh, yes. I do remember. An astronaut wouldn't work then."
Today I made the mistake of promising to buy him his own tools and a toolbox as he grew up, so that he would have a nice set of tools by the time he left our home to start his own family.
"I don't need tools! No tools, I'll use daddy's tools 'cuz I'm not leavin' you. Bemember? You still okay with that?" He has picked up on the fact that Mr. Ashley and I really don't love this plan of his.
"Yep. I'm okay with that."
And that's why I'm afraid I'll be living with a Scuba-diving cop one day.