It could have been how Hippy Mama and her girlfriends had raved on about Daniel Craig being the coolest of all the James Bond actors. Or maybe it was how we went on about the suit, the gun, the babes, the steely blue eyes; the man who smashes cars, kills bad guys and lives to tell. Women want him and men want to be him. In a word, James Bond is Invincible. So while on a recent trip to celebrate Carnival in Venice, my 9-year old son announced his plan to become an international spy upon hearing the boat man point out where actor, Daniel Craig, sat on his yacht in ‘Casino Royale’.
Some little boys aspire to be doctors, firemen, famous athletes, or rock-stars; on a gondola ride my son was making plans to become an international spy. The baby in the family suddenly didn’t seem so small any more. Later that night, after passing through the narrow, Venetian streets filled with long capes and mysterious masks, I couldn’t stop thinking about the late night phone calls I’d get from undisclosed locations, the dark sedans waiting below my son’s residence, or the envelopes containing coordinates of remote villages in central Asia where he will have to rescue political prisoners. Goodness me, where on earth did my son get such an imagination? Only six months ago, he wanted to be the world’s greatest surfer.
So I did what any curious Hippy mama would do. I went online and looked up the guidelines about how to become an international spy. The criteria: super-human intelligence, lightning fast kung-fu moves, fluency in 72 different dialects of Mandarin, x-ray vision… the number one requirement is a taste for adventure. Well isn’t that what any Hippy mama secretly wishes for her babes as she looks over their bassinets in the nurseries: Enough adventure and humor to last a lifetime.
The Italian spring night air gently blows in from the terrace as I watch my son fast asleep, with his angelic 9-year old face still thousands of nights away from having to make any decision about his future. Maybe what he longs for most in becoming James Bond is for the invincibility of his youth to last forever.
Certainly I do.