Monday, February 21, 2011

And there will be a lava pit and invisible ants . . .

My apologies for those readers who know me and my family well as the content of the first few paragraphs will not be new to you.
The basement of my childhood home was unfinished. One half was taken up with laundry and storage. The other half was wide open, excepting the support poles, and could serve various functions, including roller rink. A good portion of the basement was consistently dedicated to my classroom. I had real textbooks (NTB), old desks from my grade school, a chalk board, and plenty of invisible students. And I was happy. I taught my heart out to empty desks, completing assignments on behalf of my phantom students and then grading them.

I grew up and, to no one's surprise, became a teacher.
My sister LAP set up a store in the room she shared with our younger sister Pita. Before bed each evening (while I was reading in my room), Pita was required to "shop" from the bedroom store before she was allowed to go to sleep. LAP would ring up Pita's "purchases" on one (yes, there were multiple) of her cash registers. LAP also had a binder labeled "Business Work" in which she inventoried things like our household's collection of board games.
Despite a childhood wish to work the checkout at Kroger, LAP grew up and, to no one's surprise, became an accountant.
My point is that sometimes career paths are chosen early on.
Of course, sometimes they're not. There are plenty of wonderful stories about individuals whose life experiences have led them through a variety of jobs and eventually--through some combination of hard work, serendipity, persistence, openness, passion, and experience--to surprising and satisfying careers.
As a mom, I wonder how, if at all, my kids' current passions and preferences will predict their future careers? I'm guessing that Little Bit won't be a Jedi and that Sweet P won't get a job crawling after and chewing on dirty shoes, remotes, cords, and crumbs.
But maybe our Bub will be . . . an architect?
He came home from school last week with a two page drawing he called his "blueprints."
Using some empty cardboard boxes from the Costco run, he began executing his design.
His little brother is allowed to help.
The next day he came home from school with more "blueprints." And more the day after.
Work on the cardboard model has slowed a bit, but conceptually the project is still going strong. Throughout the day, Bub shares new aspects of his design with me and Little Bit.
Here's what I know so far about the structure he's designing: It's going to be big, a mansion. It will have wheels so it can be moved. No grown-ups allowed because they will wreck stuff. It will be big enough for all the kids he knows. There will be a pit of hot lava for robbers. Also, invisible ants to attack those robbers. All the kids will have their own rooms for sleeping and fireproof robots will protect them at night. The shower will shoot out gold coins that are really pieces of chocolate. Big kids will be there to help with homework and to read books to little kids (our next door neighbors in eighth and ninth grades were specifically named as among these "big kids"). There will be a room for babies and a robot to watch them. I forgot to mention that the robots are fireproof and waterproof.
That's all we know so far.
Maybe he'll be an architect. Or a novelist. Or a security guard. Or a designer of robots. Or all of those things. Or none of them.
My job right now? To listen to his ideas, to study his blueprints, to honor his passions and enthusiasms, to teach him to work hard and dream big, and to make sure we all remember to enjoy the journey.
Do the children in your life express career preferences yet? Do you have hopes for or guesses at the future careers of the kids you know? How did your childhood passions and preferences predict your current career? Please share in the comments.


18 comments:

Stacia said...

Let me know when those chocolate-spewing showers hit the market. I gotta have one! (Love those blueprints.)

My daughter wants to be a princess when she grows up. When we ask her what she wants to study at college (hey, it's never to early to toss out the c-word), she says "how to be a princess." When we explain that even princesses have other jobs, she says she wants to make pink princess dresses.

Not sure where that leaves us. Perhaps she can design waterproof, fireproof dresses for Bub's robots??

Heather said...

Love to see their little imaginations at work, seeing the BIG things they can dream up!

Isabel has been a fashionista since the age of 2. I think she will do something creative and artsy with her life, but I hope it's not moving to London and being part of the scene there...way too far away.

Elijah is a math genius and a superstar athlete. Maybe he'll play professional baseball, then manage a team...

Gabe? Oh, Gabe. His current dream is to be a Lego designer and/or themepark inventor. He has a great plan to redo King's Island. You are all invited to the grand opening, for sure!

I was going to be an architect. Took an architect's design course in high school and loved it. Then I somehow became a nurse. Go figure.

I would've LOVED to have played school with you back in the day! One of my favorite things to do as a kid! Jealous of the real chalkboard...I wrote on my closet door, much to my parents' chagrin.

Amy said...

I so hope that A's current favorite things (e.g., dancing in her underwear and undershirt to hip hop) are no indication as to what she might grow up to be (I'm having stripper visions here). AHHH! On a more positive note she can argue and negotiate the heck out of her dad, so maybe a politician. Heck with those two choices last year's idea of being a butterfly when she grows up is sounding really good right now!

LAP said...

On the three "All About Me" posters we have hanging up in the basement right now, the future occupations are listed as follows:
Fancy - accountant. guess she just loves her mama and she must somehow manage to find the work I do from home fascinating. Her backup profession is a hairdresser which was a job I always secretly coveted as well. I operated the pro bono "LAP's snip and curl" in college until I went a little too short on a friend and felt so bad I decided to shut down.
Swiper - doctor. She's walked in when I'm watching Grey's Anatomy and tries to demand that I unpause it so she can "see what they are doing to that guy." She is completely unphased by the blood of it all, quite unlike her mother. She doesn't like to be dirty though, so I forsee her going through multiple scrubs in a day.
Wookie - dentist. She brushes her teeth as much as I will allow so I took the liberty of selecting this career for her.

E... said...

O. is unwavering on his commitment to be a zoo man, except for the few occasions he says paleontologist. He's all about building "contraptions" though, so perhaps he will be an innovator in animal habitat design at zoos, creating homes that encourage entertainment and such for the animals??
N. doesn't really have a career chosen yet. So far, she's just sure she wants to get married so she can wear a beautiful dress and dance. Need to work on some higher aspirations there, I guess. I'm not too worried so far.
I always loved playing school, though I also wrote lots of puppet show theatre, and performed as a magician quite often as well. If asked, I wanted to be either a fisherman or a teacher. So, since I've given up teaching for a time, does that mean there are bass tournaments in my future?

CaraBee said...

I love that you pretended to be a teacher when you were a kid and went on to actually be a teacher. I honestly don't remember if there were any occupations that I consistently played at as a kid. I was more a Jill of all trades. I guess my career choices so far have been more chance than design. As for my daughter, it is anyone's guess what direction she'll go. If I had to, I would say she'll probably be a sky diving instructor because that girl is insane. I very much look forward to whatever direction she goes.

Maybe Bub can design a house for me. I could use a fireproof robot.

Sara G said...

Hilarious, Megan. What's up with the robber thing? Do you talk about that much since you're in the big, bad city?

Also, where can I purchase one of the robots to watch my baby?

Today Julia said she wanted to be a costume designer. Yesterday was a vet; last week, a paleontologist. My favorite was last year: a singing doctor. Who doesn't want one of those?!

Rachel said...

First, I'm glad to know I'm not the only kid who skated in the basement. I couldn't slow my roll for something as piddly as Winter in Cleveland. Bah.

Second, I'm so interested to know what my son will choose for a career. He's very neat and orderly, but he's also really creative. Sounds like that's what it takes to be an architect! :)

The Empress said...

You know? I'm about to give you shivers.

My brother used to always draw and build houses out of scraps of wood my dad-- a carpenter--would give him.

My brother grew up to be a carpenter.

He just loves it.

Linz said...

That just totally brought back memories. I remember the classroom and of course the cash registers. It is very true how sometimes our career path in life is chosen early on. As far as your basement, my favorite part had to be the jukebox and pop-a-shot. Good times!

Teachinfourth said...

Chocolate gold coins and hot lava pits? Sign me up for one when the model home is done...

Mrs.Mayhem said...

I love kids' imaginations. It is so amazing to listen for their plans for the future.

My oldest daughter wants to be a teacher. And it's cute because she does teach her little sister and their dolls. There just might be something substantial to this theory.

But if so, my youngest is likely to become a criminal because she can NOT follow the rules, no matter what.

Actchy said...

Love this. I most certainly have some sort of a wordsmith in my outlandishly verbose Acey. And the girls? Surely they will always be my toothless, smiling little darlings, right?

Sarah D said...

First, I remember LAP having a REAL cash register in your basement. I thought it was SO cool.
Lily says she wants to come to the studio and work with me and take pictures. She also says she wants to be a nurse like her Aunt Bridget. So, we'll see....

Lady Jennie said...

I'm impressed by his creativity!

Tracey - Just Another Mommy Blog said...

I was sure that Justin would be a paleontologist.

Then I was sure that he would be a volcanologist.

THEN I was sure that he would be a bum living in a van down by the river.

Now I am sure that I have no clue but only hope that #3 is no longer an option.

I do know that I am glad that Evan has abandoned his dream of becoming a Dog...

And Corinne could do just about anything she tries which excites and concerns me all at once...

dusty earth mother said...

I totally want to live in Bub's creation. Even with the ants. Because they will be focused on the robbers, not me.

I miss you, Mep. Had to visit today.

cake said...

so, so, so, so, so, so AWESOME!

 
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