Monday, September 10, 2007

Growing Up

As a child I remember imagining what I would be when I grew up. The possibilities were endless. I loved to pretend that I owned a store and would spend hours writing out receipts for everything imaginable. Or other times, I would be the teacher and my dolls the pupils. They listened much better than my children do. There was the one experience with the next door neighbor boy when I apparently wanted to be a doctor. But perhaps, my biggest fantasy was to be a pioneer woman like Laura Ingalls from Little House on the Prairie. And it would have worked for me except that I found out she actually had to use an outhouse and that pretty much blew it for me. Well that and the fact that people no longer drove horse pulled buggies or used oil lamps for lighting.

It's fun now to listen to my children as they explore future career possibilities. Haley has, from a very early age, said she wanted to be a doctor. She has always been interested in anatomy and wowed even her preschool teachers with her grasp of the anatomical differences between boys and girls (that's a story for another day). At the young age of four, I would walk in to find her staring at some operation being performed on the Discovery Channel. And one of her favorite shows was A Birth Story (only because she had grasped how to change the Channel and would find it on t.v and watch it until she got caught). Her interest in the medical field hasn't changed much in recent years although at one point she tossed around the idea of being a teacher.

Holden has not really shown a specific interest in a future career. At one time or another, he wanted to be a police officer, fireman, forklift driver or garbage man, common things that most all boys think about. Well, except for the garbage man thing but at the age of 2 he had a big thing for garbage trucks. If we were inside, he would run excitedly to the window to wave at the garbage men. If we were outside, he would stand and watch them as they emptied every garbage can in sight. His dad and I think he will be an attorney. He is the great inquisitor. Never a stone unturned. Or a question left unanswered. He has the need to know and won't let it go until he gets what he is looking for.

Harrison has wanted to be all the typical little boy things (firefighter, police officer, monster truck driver, etc.) Last week he told me that when he grew up he was not going to move away from home. He was going to go to college and then come back home to live with me. I asked what he as going to do for a job and he said he was going to be a truck driver (not sure we are going to be needing a college degree for that job). I wanted to know what kind of truck he was going to drive and he said a really big one. Of course the next obvious question was where are you going to park this big truck. After thinking it over for a split second he said "Across the whole front yard". There goes Dad's grass.

Just yesterday, Harrison told me that he had been thinking more about growing up and he had decided that he was in fact not going to be living with me. He was going to move far away to a farm where he was going to be a cowboy and ride horses. I told him that maybe he could find a farm close to me so that I wouldn't be sad. He said that they didn't have farms near me but I could always come and visit him.

There really is no way of telling at such a young age what a child will do or be when they grow up. I didn't turn out to be any of the things I imagined I would be when I was young. Children change as they become adults and so do their desires. It is interesting to watch how their personalities change and how the things that interested them at one point in their lives become of little importance as they grow older. The one thing that never changes as they grow older is the love that the parent feels for that child. And no matter what they become, whether it is a doctor, lawyer or yes, even garbage man, you love them just the same because their first job was being your child.