Thursday, March 4, 2010

Little Gandhi's Grand Idea

The other day, my first-grade son surprised me on the way home from school when he suddenly veered from our conversation about his classmate's new haircut to talk of dreams and souls. "When we dream," he informed me, "It is almost like our souls are playing in a parallel universe. Do you know what I mean, Mom?"

"I might know what you mean," I said, "but I really need coffee before I can contemplate anything more complicated than Noah's hair," and then I jerked the minivan into Starbucks. Everyone knows that talk of souls and parallel universes begins with a white mocha.

Over coffee, milk and mini donuts, my son shared his theory of alternative dimensions with me. Not for the first time, I realized that my little boy sometimes doesn't seem so "little." He's one of those kids I'd describe as having an old soul, if such things exist. In fact, my family often refers to him as "Little Gandhi."

He's a very deep, spiritual and compassionate little dude.

He once spontaneously knelt over the new spring flowers that dotted our front yard and very softly whispered, "Thank you, God" before resuming play. And not long ago, he staged a recess sit-in because his elementary school did not serve vegetarian options. He refused to eat the chicken nuggets, prompting a plea from his teacher to please bring him a peanut butter sandwich.

"Just because I am a man does not mean I have to be a predator," he told us (predators) later.

Power to the people! Stick it to The Man!

So I was very excited when I learned of a state-sponsored contest for his age group that invited him to "Dream Out Loud" for a chance to win a $2,500 college scholarship. Students are asked to submit an original drawing, poem, essay or video answering the question, "How will I change the world after I go to college?"

Smugly, I knew Little Gandhi would nail this one. Cha-ching! Money in the bank! Would my pint-sized philosopher speak of finding cures for horrible diseases, bringing peace to the Middle East or creating an alternative fuel that boosted the economy and cleaned the environment? I couldn't wait to hear his ideas.

So at dinner, I told him about the contest and asked him, "How will you change the world after you go to college?"

His brow furrowed as he contemplated improving life for all mankind. Then he looked up at me with those sparkling baby blues and very earnestly said, "Umm, I think I'd invent a massaging chair for when you go to the bathroom."

Little Gandhi had spoken. The world needs massaging toilets, dammit, and we need them now!

It's brilliant. I'm already counting the $2,500.


  1. Would I have to pay retail, or do you think he could "hook me up" ????? Either way, I'm sold!

  2. i'll jump on the love train!!! i don't think i'd ever come out of the powder room again, ha!!!
    d xxxx