Last week, after reading a fun picture book about kids and their dream jobs, I asked my 3-year old son what he wants to be when he grows up. (I would have bet money that he would say something to do with a tractor - because I was so sure that he would.)
He surprised me.
He said, "When I grow up, I want to be a daddy."
I was floored. It was so touching, and he was so sincere, that his statement brought tears to my eyes.
I said, "Oh, you will be such a good daddy!"
He said, "Yes, I will be a really good daddy, because I am so fun and I will be so nice. Sometimes I will not be nice - if my kids are making big messes - but only sometimes. I will play with my kids a lot, like wrestle and play, and I will be so nice."
We talked more about how fun it would be to be a daddy and how fun his daddy is. Then I couldn't stop thinking about how quickly life goes by. My oldest is eight. He could potentially move out in ten years. He has already spent almost half of the total amount of time that he will spend during his lifetime under our roof, in our care. We are born, we play and learn a lot, and we grow up so fast.
This came up again later while driving in the car with my two older kids. We were discussing why there are so many religions. We talked about how short our lives are, how quickly we grow up and die, and how the mystery of life and death have led people to seek out or form new explanations, which eventually, in some instances, have developed into religions. Then we talked about Joseph Smith, his confusion, and his searching for truth amidst all of the different interpretations of the purpose of life. It was an intense conversation. I was impressed by their knowledge, their questions, and their ability to understand so much of what we discussed. I am grateful that we can communicate on a personal level with Heavenly Father, that we can know truth if we seek it, and particularly that we have an eternal perspective of why we are here, where we came from, and where we are going.