It wasn’t quite a full-blown grin, but it came close. They’d just straggled in from the bus, my youngest two, plopping shoes, coats and backpacks in an obstacle course through the house. Little, the Cheerful Cricket, set about getting his daily popcorn snack as Mr. Middle School fired up the Keurig for his afternoon cocoa. And there it came.
“We took a test today,” he said in his adolescent monotone. “You know, to see what kind of stuff we’d be good at?” I listened, curious.
“My results came back as computer engineering.” Well, now. “It said I’d be good at hooking up and maintaining networks.”
Goodness. For a kid who was the in-house electronics expert, this seemed to fit. Even Grandpa had called him for help, and his big brothers counted on him to hook this to that and that to this to make their game and sound systems work.
I beamed, happy and proud, enthusing over him in that way that mothers have. But he wasn’t quite done. “One of the subcategories was video game design.” There he went, flashing the tiniest hint of a grin, shooting me a sideways glance.
I laughed out loud. “Did you think God was talking to you today?” I said. He shrugged, a slice of grin still showing, words used up.
Video game designer, huh? When you’re 14, I can see how this would seem like a Voice From Heaven, pointing you to the way in which you should go. Such a “sign,” if a fellow played his cards right, would suddenly validate all that X-Boxing, turning it into Vocational Research and Extremely Necessary Career Preparation.
It helped, too, if you had parents that were either slow on the uptake or too busy and distracted to figure it out. Which was not the case here. And which really stank for would-be game designers who still found themselves with parameters in place and hawk-eyed parents keeping an eye on things. Rats.