Parenting Blog

I’ve Just Realized I’m Living My Childhood Dreams

I didn’t want to be a veterinarian.

I was too afraid of a fastball once it started to actually travel fast to step into a batter’s box for a living.

The idea of being a race car driver never appealed to me.

My fat fingers and complete lack of rhythm stunted my career as rhythm guitarist in a mid-level indie rock band.

I looked adorable wearing a pocket watch, but was never that into trains.

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There were only two occupations I ever wished to call my own as a young man. Some kids would watch train movies over and over and over and over and over again, wishing to be the conductor. Others would pound the palm of their glove repeatedly with their tiny clenched fist, stuff a wad of Big League Chew into their cheeks, and dream of playing pro ball. Me, I’d watch the Culinary Institute of America’s promotional VHS tape ad nauseum, longing to someday be a chef. The glint of the silvery knives, the crisp linens, and the angelic whiteness of the stiff as starch jackets entranced 10-year-old me. Eventually, I’d fancy girls in this same way, but what really did it for me was a chiffonade of fresh basil and the sizzle of diced onions tossed confidently into an oily hot stainless steel pan. Be still my heart.

I did a tour in the restaurant biz, and I use all of those words as liberally as you’d like. It didn’t take a full nine innings for me to discover that the tough-as-nails work required to feed people nightly was not in my crystal ball. I retreated into my G.I. Joe figures and later, into consuming angular indie rock music and art house movies.

My 2nd professional aspiration ran concurrently with the first, and was not dissimilar at all. In fact, the two were adjoining train cars. I wanted what all young men, if they were to be honest with themselves, would admit to wanting: to own and operate a charmingly quaint bed & breakfast. I could picture the wrap-around porch, the paint color of the shutters out front, the horizontal grain of 3″ wood adorning the top of my impressive chopping block island, and the rest of my humble but top-notch kitchen.

My mom was right, I was a weird one.

I must be a bit daft in my advancing age, because I’ve only just begun to realize in the past few weeks, and to actually say out loud to people, that in a roundabout sort of way I have achieved both of my youthful professional goals, that I am living my childhood dreams because I am in fact an executive chef to a regular cast of hungry patrons and I run a tip-top B&B, albeit one without that majestic porch. The shutters though, they are the deep red hue I pictured some 30 years ago, and my kitchen is indeed modest but is filled with the finest pots, pans, knives and prep equipment one can reasonably own in a non-commercial cooking space.

I guess all of this means that I’m grown up now, that I’ve grown-up to become the man I always thought I would be, but in a way I could have never, ever, ever imagined.

I’m happier than I ever thought possible and I still look adorable wearing a pocket watch.

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2 Comments

  1. Great twist here – definitely not what I was expecting to see.
    The line about the b&b made me laugh. For some reason, I thought of the Newhart Show.

  2. That’s so funny, Larry! Newhart was one of my favorite shows when I was a kid. And I just bought Newhart’s debut comedy LP! Full circle, full circle!!

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