Name: Nanette Buchanan
Title: When I Grow Up
The majority of the adult population over the age of forty can remember the days when every adult, family member or not, would ask “What do you want to be when you grow up?” The younger the child the quicker the answer, usually based on what they had done or seen recently. A teacher, fireman, police and doctor were the popular answers. Some would be shy stating they didn’t know but the dream would build as they prepared their answer for the next one who may question them. Often who we thought we would be was a part of our parent’s fantasy as they prompted the answers reminding us we would have to work hard and continue our education. I don’t think any of us thought of ourselves as entrepreneurs or a CEO and if we did we had no thought of having employees working under us. Our dreams were realistic, based on our upbringing and what was exposed to us in our younger years.
When I was a child, I wanted to be, or thought I wanted to be, a Pediatrician. I’ve always loved babies and thought being a doctor, I would enjoy my job. However, after seeing my first autopsy, while in high school, my vision of my white lab coat changed quickly. I was informed that as a doctor I may have to deal with blood and needles. No argument from me, I’d settle for my second choice. Life shot me another dose of reality shortly after I found myself working to pay my rent and bills. School took a backseat to marriage and raising my children. It didn’t stop the desire and as fate would have it, today I am a writer of novels hoping to get them in film.
I decided with all that had changed in my life, I would ask a few children about their future. Would they think as I had? When they grow up will they follow their childhood dreams? What would or could change their minds? Did they know what each career would require from them? So, I simply asked the help of a few parents and here are the results.
Nick who is now seventeen wants to be an EMT. He understands he will need to pass a test and have a license, afterward he will have to have training. However, his stumbling block may be his issues with anger and giving up easily. Not to mention following rules isn’t his thing.
Jordyn’s parents may be her only obstacle. She wants to be an artist and her tools include paint. She knows it takes hard work but without enough paint she’ll never achieve her goals. Her parents just want her to keep the paint on the paper. Jordyn is seven.
Sky wants to be a teacher. She realizes to teach others you’ve got to go to college. There would be nothing to stop her unless she died and went to heaven. At eight, it didn’t take long for her mind to change. Just as the questions ended she thought a gymnast would be a better choice.
Gavin has his mind set on being a Scientist. He understood that it would take hard work, studying and a lot of research. Gavin is seven and he’s determined that if there are no asteroids invading earth, he could become a Scientist.
TyrRonn is eleven and being a professional athlete is his goal. Practice is what it will take to better his Baseball or Basketball game. He can’t foresee anything stopping him from reaching his goal.
Raquel is eight and loves the world of fashion design. Her creativity will get her there. As a free spirit she’s always creating things so there is no stopping her.
Rosalynn is five and loves animals. She wants to be a veterinarian. At five, I don’t think there is a thought of her being stopped. After all if you love animals, you can take care of them.
DYandre’ knows his choices would all take hard work, dedication, practice and furthering his education. “I can accomplish anything I put my mind to” was his concluding statement. He wants to be a Chemical Engineer or a Chemist, but then there’s always dancing.
Loryn is fifteen and has a clear understanding that everything is not always easy. His desire to become a professional Basketball or Football player will take perseverance; but so will becoming a Lawyer or a Teacher. The influence of the environment gave him cause for concern….. “the effects of gangs and gang activity” but he’s determined to achieve his goals.
Zsakaiyah has her mind set on becoming Professional Dancer. This nine year old recognizes she must be committed. Her support from her mother and family is important. She’s sure she will make it simply because her supporters are always there.
After gathering the information, thanking the parents, and reviewing the answers, I realized children still dream. Although the world has changed for our youth, they still believe in reaching for the stars. From the seventeen year old to the five year old, they didn’t hesitate to say “when I grow up”…… The first step to anyone’s future is to know where you are headed. Even if there are a few detours along the way…… like these children, you have to have a destination.