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  • On his first day of school, my nephew Michael told his kindergarten teacher that he wanted to be Batman.

    "Oh, that's very nice, Michael. But I don't think you can really be Batman. Why don't you pick something more realistic. How about a doctor? Or maybe a big time corporate executive?"

    "No. I want to be Batman."

    "Now, Michael, Honey, that's just not possible. Batman isn't real. He's just someone on television. I want you to sit down and think about this a little bit longer. "

    What his teacher didn't realize was that my nephew already was Batman. I know. I visited him a few months ago and had the rare opportunity to witness his daily transformation from little kid on the brink of kissing his last preschool summer good-bye to super-hero on the brink of saving lives.

    You didn't know exactly when the transformation was going to take place, but one minute you'd see him watching cartoons in his flannel Toy Story pajamas (left over from when he wanted to be Buzz Lightyear...or was it Woody?). And then the next, he'd either be running through the yard with his Bat cape flowing in the wind or zooming around in his little car with his Bat mask obstructing his view.

    But his transformation was really complete when he would put on his whole Batman muscle costume and jump on the trampoline. He even invited me to join him! What? Me actually fly with Batman!?! Hell yeah!!!

    So, respectful boy that he is, my nephew obeyed his teacher, sat down and pondered his future life choices a bit longer.

    "Well, Michael. It's time to pick what you're going to be when you grow up. Have you decided?"

    "Yes."

    "What's it going to be?"

    "I want to be Batman."

    (Lesson from a kindergartener: If you want to be Batman, then BE Batman. If you want to be an artist, then BE an artist. If you want to be a rock star, then BE a rock star. Whatever it is you want to be, just BE it. You need no one's permission but your own.)
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