Friday, August 20, 2010

I Know What I Want to Be When I Grow UP!!!!

I read Geri's blog post today and was immediately thrown back more than twenty-five years to when my son was about three years old.  (Thank you Geri)

My son and daughter spent their days at "Mamaw's House" while their father and I worked.  This meant, usually, three to four days per week they played with three other children whose parents also employed Mamaw to provide childcare.  The setting was comfortable, non-institutional, and provided them daily experiences similar to what they would have experienced had I been able to be a stay-at-home mom.  They played in the backyard, ate breakfast and lunch, took naps, learned to color, count and read, learned to care for the pets (two schnauzers), learned to share, and learned that every afternoon the toy room chores had to be completed before Mom or Dad arrived to pick them up...all toys had to be returned to the BIG BOX.

When I opened the gate to the backyard, it was not unusual to be greeted with, "Guess WHAT MOMMY!!!!"

I dunno about you, but I could NEVER "Guess" what the little minds had fathomed or in what silliness they had engaged.  I could ALWAYS tell when Kool-Aid had been part of the lunch or snack, as the level of exuberance was always elevated on those days.

It was on just such a Kool-Aid day that I reached Mamaw's House and was greeted with

"Guess WHAT MOMMY!!!!"
"What, Stephen?"
"Mommy!!! I want to be a TRASH MAN when I grow up!!" 
"Sure Stephen, you want to drive the truck?" 
" NOOOOOOOO!!!! I want to RIDE ON THE BACK!!!"

"Yeah," I thought, "it's been the dream of many in every generation, I'm sure.... then they go to kindergarten and get all 'informed' about the 'good jobs.'"

Not yet Three...Pondering Life
with the EVER Present Blankie!
Sure enough, at about age 10, no Kool-Aid in his belly, but fired up with enthusiasm from his field trip to Jamestown, VA, I was greeted with, "GUESS WHAT MOM!!!!"

"Mom, I KNOW what I want to be when I grow up!!!" 
(Really? Not a TRASH MAN?) "What, Stephen?" 
"I want to be 1/2 time a computer programmer (guess what MOM did for a living) and 1/2 time a GLASS BLOWER."
"OK, Stephen, sounds GREAT!!!"
Age 9 or 10...Just won this Tigger at the
company picnic and DETERMINED
to save it for HIS little boy

Now, lest you think I am under some delusion that MY children are UNIQUE on this matter, let me assure, I KNOW they are not.  I cite, for example, my best friend's daughter who, at age 8 or 9, came bounding up the stairs from my basement where she and my daughter had been "playing", crying her eyes out.

"What's wrong Dee Dee?"
"Jennifer says JOCKIES only earn $1 per YEAR!!!"
"ummmmm....Jennifer?  I don't think she knows what jockies earn." (as I scowled at my evil daughter!)

Clearly, Dee Dee had her heart set on being a jockey when she grew up.  And my daughter had upset her royally, when she implied she was going to make NO money in her chosen profession!

Nevertheless, MY son was sure of his future and only changed his mind once or twice thereafter.....  At 12 years old and pondering the future, he announced he'd decided where he wanted to go to college, I was hesitant to ask...but I did....
"Either YALE or FLORIDA STATE!!!!" 
"ummmm OK, I know I'm an FSU grad (GO NOLES!!!!), but.. WHY those two choices?"
"Well, YALE is a good school, but very expensive, and FLORIDA STATE has a GREAT MARCHING BAND!!!"
Age 15, Marching His Way to FSU???
Suffice to say, LIFE stepped in and helped change a little boy's aspirations.  He is now 29 years old, married to a wonderful woman, does AutoCAD work for a surveying company, lives about an hour from me, performs in local community theater productions, and sings in his church choir and the Virginia Choral Society.
Senior Prom...Almost 18

Age 29 -- On stage last weekend -- BYE BYE BIRDIE
Does he even remember those early aspirations?  Well, I guess I'll ask him... I mean, Geri remembers HER early desire to RIDE THE GARBAGE TRUCK!!!
Thanks for the memories, Geri!


Sharon said...

Hi Judy! It would seem your son has turned out rather well! A very nice looking man! If only we could all say the same. My youngest insisted he wanted to live in the woods and figured a real long extension cord would be necessary, so he could have his computer hooked up. No idea whose power he was planning on using. LOL! He has changed his mind several times, but never gave up the computer.

Children never aspire to what they sometimes become, if it's not a good thing.

mixednut555 said...

My grand-daughter U'iLani wanted to ride on the back of the garbage truck too! She was obsessed with garbage trucks until about 2 years ago. At age one she would stand on her bed and watch out the window as the gabaga truck was emptying the dumpsters at our apartment complex. All the gabaga men knew her and when she moved, one of them actually came to our door to ask where she was when they didn't see her for a couple of weeks. Now she is determined to be a veterinarian.

Canyon Girl said...

I don't have any kids so I can't share aspirations, but I kept seeing the little kids in front of my eyes as you described them over the years. And your son looks like a young man who ended up doing just what he wants and truly likes to do. And that's a huge blessing.--Inger

Judy's Corner said...

Sharon, I am happy to say, my son turned out happy! He continues to surprise me with his interests and such. I have long realized my children turned out MUCH happier following their interests than they would have had they traveled the path I might have imagined.

Judy's Corner said...

Kat, I never recall wanting to be a garbage man, but for YEARS I wanted to be a veterinarian. When I was 15 I developed horrible allergies to cats and dogs and that pretty much ended my aspirations in that field. By the time I took the allergy shots I was an adult, married with two children, and working as a computer did not seem feasible to return to school to study veterinary medicine....I suppose I was never meant to be one...I hope U'iLani continues to dream and that her dreams become realities.

Judy's Corner said...

Inger, I thank you and I could not agree more. Both of my children are doing things I would have never dreamed, and both seem happy... and Dee Dee, well, she is not a jockey...turns out she really wasn't crazy about riding horses, when she finally got the opportunity. She is, however, happily serving in the Coast Guard.