When I Grow Up

reflectionphoto by D Sharon Pruitt

When I grow up, I want to be a . . .

Have your children begun to share their dreams and hopes and plans for the future?

Our four year old, Dacey, tells me often as she helps me in the kitchen, “When I grow up, I’m going to be a baker!”  Other times, as she is painting or drawing, she’ll say, “Or maybe when I grow up, I will be an artist.”  It brings me such joy to know that she is beginning to imagine herself as a “grown-up” and envisioning how she’ll spend her days.

I recently came across a statement from renowned writer and photographer Jen Lee that captures my beliefs on how we, as parents and care givers, should respond to “when I grow up .  . . ”  Jen writes:

I trust the occupations that draw us when we are children, when we still believe that anything is possible.

My life speaks to the truth of that sentiment.  My earliest memories of imagining my grown-up self cast me in the role of teacher.  My younger siblings were the (often reluctant) students, and depending on how well we were getting along on that particular day, they would either receive an A+++++ or an F——-.

Throughout my childhood years, I thought perhaps I might become a veterinarian or a restaurant owner, but when the focus began to narrow as I began my collegiate education, it was with great peace that I settled on English with an emphasis in Secondary Education as my major.  The first day I stood to teach as a student teacher, I felt completely at ease and entirely natural – fulfilling the dreams of my far-away and long-ago pretend classrooms.

And how about you?  Does your life bear testimony to the truth of Jen’s statement?  What did you imagine for yourself as a child, and how did that play out in your grown-up reality?  Do you have childhood dreams that have yet to come to fruition?  Or are you exactly where you imagined you might be?

Further, how are you honoring and even nurturing your children’s dreams for their grown-up futures?

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  1. I love this! My son (also four) always says, “When I am a Daddy…” Followed by many things – super hero, chef, artist, etc.. But, always it is “When I am a Daddy…”

    My dad was not around much growing up, so I love that my son thinks of growing up and being a daddy together. Makes me beyond happy that his dad is such a great role model for him and an amazing father!

    As for me, I too, always played teacher.. I have held that role in pretty non-traditional capacities, but am very fulfilled when I am teaching in some way. I have been spending a lot of time lately thinking about this and how to express myself as teacher in my life right now. There is the obvious role as mom, but I am craving something more. Not sure what that is, but it is being mulled over. 🙂
    .-= Lisa@WhatFeedsMySoul´s last blog ..about me and this blog =-.

  2. I always wanted to be a mother and a teacher; now I am both as I homeschool my crew.
    .-= LaDonna´s last blog ..30 Days of Recipes – Banana Bread =-.

  3. When I was my daughter’s age (she’s almost 11) I dreamed of being a teacher. Like you, I had a mock classroom and was a very strict, but fun, teacher to my little sister. My mom encouraged my dream by providing an entire corner of our playroom and filling it with two desks, a chalkboard, and stacks of old textbooks she found at flea markets. She was so good at nourishing our dreams, and she still is.

    When I got to middle school I became a peer helper, and that’s when I realized my dream to be a therapist. It just came so naturally, like your student teaching did for you. In college I never waivered, and I finished my master’s in counseling a few years ago.

    The funny thing is, all along, even once I decided on a professional career, I knew that nothing was more important to me than being a wife and mom. And that has come to fruition so perfectly for me. I dream of a career outside my home someday, but for now I have the perfect one as a sahm to my three kiddos. I love it.
    .-= Elizabeth´s last blog ..Be (in)Couraged =-.

  4. When I was small, I imagined myself as a lawyer, doctor, nurse, psychologist. It wasn’t until college and beyond that I kept finding myself drawn to education and to roles of a nurturer. I am completely at home in a classroom. In fact, I’m probably more comfortable there than anywhere else. Now that I’m at home, I get to experience the most wonderful teaching job on earth….raising my own child 🙂
    .-= turnitupmom´s last blog ..Permission to Nap =-.

  5. My 3yo son’s aspirations change daily, much to my amusement. Yesterday he said he wanted to be a ‘Lawn Mower driver’ when he grew up. I’m sure it had nothing to do with the fancy red mega-mower grooming the baseball field next to our park where we were playing at the time!
    .-= Aimee´s last blog ..For Sale By Owner: UtHC Kitchen & Surrounding House =-.

  6. When I was a kid, I wanted to be a scientist, first an archaeologist (to discover fascinating things in the dirt), then an astronaut. But the at home science was always nature related – catching and observing all kinds of critters. As late as high school, I wanted to be a wildlife biologist, but chose engineering for college because it made more money. That didn’t last long, because I was miserable! While in college, discovered that I enjoyed and had a gift for working with young children. Now I am an environmental educator and naturalist, and I get to dig in the dirt, discover natural treasures, and see the world through kids’ eyes everyday. I love it! My daughter, 5, has said for the last year+ that she is going to be an artist (sometimes “an artist at the Philadelphia Zoo” not too specific, lol) and a lifeguard. We always tell her that the great thing about those is that you can be both of them, at the same time even! And that what matters is that you find what makes you happy.

  7. I wanted to be a mom, a writer, a librarian. I did work in the school library in 5th grade, and our library’s self check-out satisfies my craving to scan books and hear the beep. 😉 Doing the mom/writer thing every day. Praise be to God!!
    .-= Marla Taviano´s last blog ..be my guest =-.

  8. My daughter Nutmeg is now 4.5. For the longest time (over 2 years, I think), she’s wanted to be a vet. And that has held steady–not once has she claimed anything else for the future (except once being a princess after spending 10 days with her same-aged relatives who are totally into princesses). She’s always taken along on the visits to the vets for our pets, including the time her cat was put down when she was barely 3. The vets (who we chose partially because the whole practice was female vets) always let her use the stethoscope, explained what they were doing, and involved her in what’s going on. We gave her a stethoscope of her own one year (about $20 at the local college bookstore, since student nurses need them) and put together a vet outfit for Halloween. No toy doctor kits for us–we use real items. We found a great book at the library that we then bought at Amazon called something like “So you want to be a vet.” It’s the first book she partially memorized! She’s aware that she’ll go to college first, then vet school. (And tells people about this when asked what she wants to do when she grows up.)

    Since she’s so young, I do wonder what she’ll end up being. But since she’s stuck with this so long, maybe it will really be what she’s doing in 20 years! Who knows?

  9. I’ll be the voice of dissent and say I don’t think this always holds true. For one thing, there are many occupations that a child doesn’t even know of or understand, so they are often drawing from a limited pool of potential occupations. However, it does seem to be generally true that certain subject areas that captivate us most as children continue to captivate us as we get older.

  10. As a child, while other girls were talking of becoming nurses and veterinarians, my dream was always to be an artist.

    I’m 24 years old this Sunday. My dream hasn’t come to fruition fully, but I realised that it has always been there somewhere in the background. I love to take photographs, paint, draw and write, and although I have not been doing these things professionally I still feel as though I’m living out my childhood dream.
    .-= Satakieli´s last blog ..Making Do =-.

  11. My little Chloe tells me each day she is a ballerina. She’s still pretty young but I hope that whatever she aspires to be, that she will love the Lord and also aspire to glorify him in all she does!

    I don’t really know what I wanted to be growing up but never imagined that being a home-maker and stay-at-home mommy would be so fulfilling.
    .-= Jenn @ Beautiful Calling´s last blog ..I Can! You Can? =-.

  12. I used to say I wanted to be an artist. Around 9-10, I got interested in being an architect and then an interior designer. Then music, then computers….. and now, here I am a homemaker – having worn the hat of interior designer, artist (mostly drawing with children and taking photos of them), and even working with an architect when we built our house. Being home with the children does allow for flexibility like that.. These days I am mostly enamored with mothering and cooking as my creative outlet!

  13. i recently read this quote from jen lee and it stuck with me, too. i have always, always wanted to be a writer. even when i was a little-bitty. now, at thirty, i just wish i would do something about it!
    .-= laura @ peacoat´s last blog ..friday links – september 11 =-.


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