Tag Archives: growing up

What do you want to be when you grow up?

It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are. E.E. Cummings

It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are. E.E. Cummings

There’s been a lot of “When I grow up, I want to be…” talk at our house recently. It’s funny how my kids’ interests are evolving and getting refined as they grow up.

In the past few months I’ve read in several books explaining that, to find your very own passion in life, you have to go back to your childhood and remember what you really, really enjoyed doing at the time, the one thing you preferred to do over any other activities. I remember my favorite activities (there were several). Unfortunately I don’t really follow any of these passions for a living today, although I find myself trying to get there now. It’s never too late, right?

When it comes to making career choices, a lot of people tend to influence us as children.  Negative comments such as “you don’t want to be that”, “that’s not a career”, “you’ll never make money” can not only be hurtful, they can literally suck the passion right out of our kids’ souls. And I believe that’s what happened to me. So I swear, I swear, I swear I won’t be like that with my kids! And if I am, somebody please knock the stupidity out of me.

Here’s what my kids have expressed when it comes to growing up these past few months:

Son #1 (age 6): “When I grow up, I want to be a writer, an illustrator, and a movie maker. But not all at once. I can’t draw and make a movie at the same time.”

I hope the kid gets what he wants. He deserves it and is showing talent for a few of these things already.

Son #2 (age 4): “When I grow up, I want to be a plumber, a cockroach exterminator, a firefighter, and a paleontologist.”

That’s a plateful too and I love it!

Of course, my kids are always curious to know more about me, so my four-year old and I had this conversation a few weeks ago:

Son #2: “Mama, what do you want to me when you grow up?”
Me: “Er, I’m already grown up.”
Son #2: “Oh. What do you want to me when you’re already grown up?”

That’s when it hit me. Just like them, I don’t want to do just one thing, and I still have a lot of growing up to do when it comes to following my passions. So here’s my list, in almost no specific order:

“When I’m already grown up, I want to be a mother, a friend, a writer, a photographer, an artist, and a mentor.”

What do you want to be when you’re already grown up? Are you today what you wanted to be when you were a young child? Do you live your life’s passion or did you get sidetracked along the way?

Growing up old cartoon

Growing up old

Kindergarten, here we come!

Quite a big day for us today, with my oldest starting kindergarten this morning. I wasn’t sure how I would handle it: the school dropoff, the waving goodbye, the part where I watch my baby growing up in front of my eyes. I’ve had a lot of mixed feelings about this transition in the past week, going from being very excited for him to worried I’d start crying as I left him at school. How scary would it be for him? What kind of place is Mama leaving me  that makes her so sad? Get me out of here, now!

His little brother doesn’t go back to preschool until next week so I knew I’d have to hold myself together or face a lot of questions from him too. I also knew I’d have to keep a tight eye on the clock and our schedule or we’d face the chance to be late for our first day of school.

So I was extremely proud of myself when we got in the car at 8:15am, with school starting at 8:55. My son is in a French immersion program in a magnet school and the ride takes 15 to 20 minutes. Except, it didn’t today.

Somehow, the weather decided to turn nasty yesterday and we got our first rain since probably last April or May. Going to bed last night, I thought I’d seen the end of it, but this morning we woke up with dark grey clouds shedding tears on our windows. Still, I had 45 minutes to get to school, right?

Well, it took every single of these 45 minutes to reach our destination. As always, San Diego drivers forgot how to drive in the rain (that means keeping a safe distance, people!), and the freeways were a complete mess. I got off the parking lot freeway when I could and decided to take the side streets. Apparently, so did everybody else. I’d been worried about the lack of parking in front of the school. No worry there because all the other cars had already left when we pulled into our parking spot, right as the school bell rang.

We sprung out of the car, making our way through the outside eating area and the playground blacktop, and finally reached our class. That’s when I realized everybody else was late with us. Phew! So I helped my son get to his desk and start drawing while the teacher welcomed her students. His brother sat down next to him for a minute and gently rubbed the top of his head. Aw… But wait, no tears. A few minutes later, we took off. I kissed and hugged my son goodbye. I took a last look at him through the classroom windows as we were leaving. He was concentrating on his drawing and never looked up. Fine, be like that… No tears still.

I then got his brother back into the car and we headed for Balboa Park to take advantage of Free Tuesdays at the Natural History Museum. We got stuck into even more horrendous traffic for another 40 minutes. By the time we got to the museum, I realized I never got the tears I expected in my eyes and didn’t feel like sobbing. As a parent, it looks like I’ve done some growing up too. My little guy is getting bigger, and I’m cool with it. At least for today.

Do you remember when your children started kindergarten? If your kids are too little, do you think you’ll have a hard time with this life transition when the time comes?

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Mama, I’m going to marry you!

For those of us who studied Freud’s Oedipus complex in a far distant psychology class, the coming of this developmental phase may make you cringe or worry as a mother. Will my son really want to kill his own father so that he can marry me and possess me? Fortunately, as with most of Freud’s theories, the Oedipus phase was blown way out of proportion. Parents of the world, you can relax!

For the past few months my oldest son, who’s now four and a half, has often mentioned that he wants to marry me. He seems to understand that I can’t be married to two people at once (at least that’s what we’re teaching him!) so he’s requested that I not be married to his dad anymore. Very cute. And very harmless. Last Thanksgiving we found out that he “married” one of his girl classmates, but now he’s apparently ready for someone a little more mature. Alright, a LOT more mature. And he doesn’t seem to take no for an answer.

Together we recently read a very cute book called “Mad at Mommy” by Komako Sakai, and the illustrations below are a lovely interpretation of the phase every four-year-old-something boy goes through.

"Mad at Mommy" by Komako Sakai

"Mad at Mommy" by Komako Sakai

Mad at mommy - you won't marry me

Mad at mommy - you won't marry me

 We tend to say no to our kids so many times a day, it has to be depressing for them. When it comes to the subject of marriage, I always let him down easy. I explain he just can’t marry me and that he’s too young to get married anyway. I remind him how much growing and learning he still has to do, until he’s old enough to marry someone closer to his own age. It doesn’t stop him from stating he wants to marry me on a weekly basis, and I actually admire his determination.

As for his need for physical affection, that’s the part I like best about being a parent. Physical affection is such a crucial part of a child’s development, so I make sure my son gets his daily dose of hugs and kisses. He’s also getting to be more affectionate with his younger brother, hugging him out of the blue, and holding his hand or putting his arm around his shoulder as they’re walking out and about. I get to witness best friends in the making.

As for his dad, he’s still alive and unhurt (except for the occasional kick in the groin). My son loves to do boy things with him, and I know his dad will get to play a bigger role as he grows up. As his mother, I’m not looking forward to the end of this phase, because I know what’s coming next. The day when I’ll take him to school and he’ll politely ask me not hug and kiss him in public. It’s hard being a mom.

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