What is the American Dream… to you?

IMG_8145In an election year, we often hear things that resonate in the back of our minds. We ponder them and mull over them. For me, it’s been “achieving the American Dream.” What is this American Dream?

This reminds me of a student I had a few years ago – before my son was even a thought. Every time I saw him and asked how he was; he would always say without fail “just livin’ the dream man, livin’ the dream.” This student’s catch-phrase came back to me a few days ago while watching my son and getting something done for him.

Last week we bought him an outdoor playset, with the slide, swing and clubhouse. We had the playset installed a few days ago. We didn’t tell my son when it was being installed. We wanted him to be surprised and more importantly not disappointed if it rained and it had to be re-scheduled. When he got home he was ecstatic, if you have ever seen a child lose their mind, you know they can’t form a sentence and and and uh uh comes between each sentence.. THAT WAS HIM!

My son likes to know the details. Rachel and I were sitting on the patio watching him run around trying everything on the playset. He calms down and now he wants the details. Here is the first conversation:

Him: Who brought this play thing?
Rachel: A man with a big truck.
Him: He bring it while I was at school?
Rachel: Yes

You can see from the look on his face his wheels are turning in his brain.

Him: Who build it?
Rachel: Daddy and the man
Him: The man with truck
Rachel: Yes

The questions stopped. Rachel went inside for something. My son asked me to push him on the swing. After pushing him for a few minutes. He asked to stop swinging. He starts asking me questions, questions that choke me up because it shows his level of understanding that I can do things. Just a little different. Before I share the conversation keep in mind I use a manual wheelchair inside the house and a power chair outside the house shopping etc. Here’s the conversation:

Him: Daddy, you help the man build this for me?
Me: I sure did! Do you like it?
Him: YES! It’s so cool.
Him: Daddy, you get your big wheelchair from garage and bring it out here and raise it up to hammer high?
Me: You are right, I did.
Him: Okay, you’re the best!

About that time Rachel comes back out and I go back to pushing him on the swing. I stare at her and then him. At that moment, I think to myself am I dreaming?

I’m living my American Dream! What’s yours?

Livin’ the dream man, just livin’ the dream

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