My son loves staying in a hotel.
He loves the strange bed, the pool, the free breakfast the next morning.
He loves the experience so much that it has made him very different than other little boys. He loves sports, but he doesn't want to be a professional baseball or soccer player. He loves going to a fire station and seeing a police car whiz by but he's never wanted to do that for a living either.
He lives with a newspaper publisher but he's never said he wants to be a writer.
Nope.
He wants to be an architect. But his career in architecture will be very limited. He only wants to build one thing. A hotel.
Of course the only things he loves as much as staying in a hotel are pets.
So his hotel will have some very unique features. Pets will have their own branch of the hotel downstairs while people stay upstairs.
Each room is fitted to the specific pet, as is that pet's menu during its stay.
The rest of the hotel is awaiting a slight advance in technology to be accomplished. Each room will be customizable. But there won't be carpenters banging away with hammers all day. All of the changes will be made with the flip of one switch.
The rooms will feature a set of headphones. These headphones don't bring music to your ears, they transmit your thoughts to the computer that controls the room.
Then you flip the switch and. voila, your room is perfectly suited to your wildest dreams.
His room - that's right, he's going to live in this magical place as well as work there - will be on the top floor. He will even have his own pool and enjoy the same shape-shifting room technology.
I have never heard of this technology's existence outside of science fiction, but when I was my son's age, I was playing Pong with a dial and thinking how far technology had come with the bouncing squares of fun being whacked back and forth by moveable lines. Now Blake plays a game that can sense his movements and he plays golf in my living room with a player on the screen who looks like him.
I can't imagine it. But I'm not going to predict what advances might come. And when they do, he already has the idea to take advantage of the technology.
I love watching his brain work. Most of the time when he tells his fanciful tales, silly goo runs out like so much thoughtless pudding.
But intermittently, his innocence and ignorance intertwine to invent incredibly inspired ideas. I love watching the trail form as he creates. I often become jealous because of the ruts that straight-line logic that equal parts of education and cynicism have carved into my mind.
G.K. Chesterton said, "There are no rules of architecture for a castle in the clouds."
I would love to be able to imagine the impossible and develop it into a new reality.
"The Possible's slow fuse is lit by the Imagination," according to the poetry of Emily Dickinson.
But I also talk to my son about why his plans aren't necessarily possible right now and we talk about solutions to the problems. I don't want to restrain his brain, but as Joseph Joubert said, "He who has imagination without learning has wings but no feet."
So as reality races to catch up to dreams, it is important to push the limits of both.
Give yourself the freedom to dream. Then give yourself the discipline to work hard enough to make those dreams come true.