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My son's brilliant career

My son wants to be a Palaeontologist. He is hardly six. He dreams of putting up a tent in the great Sahara Desert and look for dinosaur fossils.

Gulf News

My son wants to be a Palaeontologist. He is hardly six. He dreams of putting up a tent in the great Sahara Desert and look for dinosaur fossils.

Of course, he cannot even spell the word. Well, I cannot spell the word too. I had to look it up the dictionary to get it right.

I tell myself that he is still too young to make up his mind. My friends assure me it is quite normal to love dinosaurs at that age.

Many of them have their own personal stories to share. But what they don't know is that my son tells us that he doesn't want to be like his dad when he grows up because, then, he wouldn't be a bone-digger, I mean a palaeontologist.

Sid, my son, is actually quite serious. He does everything that a car lover would do. He reads all the books about dinosaurs and learns about the time, characteristics and everything about the "big lizards".

He compares them to present day animals, keeps up to date with the latest findings in the dinosaur world, and pesters us to buy him all the toy versions.

He even practises being a palaeontologist by asking us to buy him "Dig a dino bone" from the toy stores.

As his knowledge widens, he puts me in the precarious position of learning with him, to be able to have "dino conversations" and to be able to pretend to be a T-Rex in the role-play games.

Recently, Sid, found out that his grandparents were not "up-to-date" with dinosaur types. He then took it upon himself to educate them.

He sat them in his room one day, and taught them about the beginning of life and eventually the mighty Rex.

At 70, my parents and my in-laws, find learning tedious. He tests them, first thing in the morning, asking them to name ten dinosaurs. They have managed to learn just ten.

Sid's birthday is in August. I ask him how he would like to celebrate.

He thinks for a while and tells me matter-of-factly that he wouldn't like a birthday party. "In August, all my friends would be away on holiday and I don't want to have a party for the birthday that is already over. So, I would like to spend my birthday with the people I love," he says.

"So, what should we do?" I prod him some more.

"Maybe take grandparents and go to Utah, in the USA," he says.

"Why Utah?" I ask him quite puzzled.

"Well, that's because that's where most dinosaurs were found," he answers and looks at me in a way that makes me wonder if I had just asked him a stupid question.

"But, I think, we may be in India," I tell him.

"Never mind. We can take grandparents and have a fantastic birthday in the Dinosaur Park in Gujarat!" he says, beaming at the idea.

Of course, I can't beat the logic. I would like to do that for Sid. Grandparents and dinosaurs, the two things he loves the most would make his birthday perfect.

Suddenly Sid has an idea. "When I grow up as big as dad, we will celebrate my birthday, in the desert with maybe a dino skeleton too. That would be fun," he beams with excitement.

"Yes," I assure him. But, deep in my heart, I have my doubts. Do people actually follow their dreams of childhood? I don't know.

But, if Sid does, then, I pray he finds the fossil of his dreams and names it one of the names he has already thought of. But, will I last that long to see him do the dino dig? Only time will tell.

Sudha Subramanian is an independent journalist based in Dubai.

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