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What do you (secretly) want your kids to be when they grow up?

Erin Zammett Ruddy

We all want our kids to be happy and healthy. I would add “able to pay their own bills” to that wish list. But other than that winning combo, what would you want them to do with their lives if the sky were the limit (and if you had some say)? My pipe dream for Alex:


On Friday night, while Nick bathed Nora and put her to bed, Alex and I made dinner. He’d had a long nap that day so we let him stay up with us for some QT sans his scene-stealing sister. We tied on our aprons, cranked up Stan Getz on the iPod and got to work. Alex wanted to play Top Chef (I’ve let him watch snippets before and he loves it—and remembers every single cast member by heart). “I’ll be Chris with the glasses and the ponytail and you can be Beverly, mom,” he said. I would have preferred to be Nyesha or Grayson, who were the only female chefs I didn’t hate this season, but I went with it. Nick was Tom Colicchio. Alex loves getting into character and kept calling me Bevelrly, which was hilarious because with his lisp it was more like “Beberly”—“So Beberly, is all of this garlic going in the risotto?”


We made mushroom risotto and seared scallops and it was awesome. One of the best Friday nights I’ve had in a long time. I particularly loved hearing things like this come out of my four year old’s mouth: “I love searing things in bacon fat, don’t you dad?” And I couldn’t help but think he’d make an awesome chef someday. A love of food is in his blood. We cook together a lot—both with real ingredients and the wooden play kind—and he takes so much pride in his work. “So, Tom, what do you think of the risotto?” he asked Nick anxiously when we sat down.*


I really don’t care what Alex does when he gets older so long as it’s legal, makes him enough money to be self-sufficient and doesn’t cause him misery. I would like him to do something he’s passionate about. I’m someone who does what I love for a living (e.g. writing this blog) and I honestly believe that’s the secret to life. I can’t remember the last time I dreaded a Monday morning. That’s what I want for my kids. But seriously how cool would it be for Alex to run his own kitchen someday? I imagined him telling reporters how he first learned to render bacon when he was a little boy working alongside his mom wearing a Superman apron. Plus, he could cook for me!


Right now the only thing he consistently says he wants to be when he grows up is an Indian. I'm not going to mess with that dream just yet. How about you guys? If happy and healthy were a given, what would you want your kids to be when they grow up—do what you do? Take over the family business? Become a doctor/lawyer/teacher/musician/professional athlete? Be honest--it’s guilty pleasure time!


*Tom raved about the risotto but thought it needed a little salt. Tom loves to say things are under-seasoned so we were prepared for this. And we still won the challenge. Obviously