Just this summer, I was mentioning to a long-time friend how emotional I’ve been preparing for this new chapter in my life, in which three of my four children are now grown and in college, leaving only my baby of thirteen-years, home as a sort of “only child” for the next five years.
I guess I should’ve been prepared for the questions she then threw at me, as I’ve heard them from well-meaning friends and family before:
“Have you thought about taking some classes? Figuring out what you want to be when you grow up?”
I remember singing this song when I was a little girl… “When I grow up, I want to be a mother, and have a family. One little, two little, three little babies of my own…” Oh how I loved mothering my younger brothers, my baby sister and my dolls! When I was a teenager, I chose to spend Friday nights babysitting of all things.
My friends and family know that I married shortly after graduating high school and immediately began a family of my own with my wonderful husband, who had already put himself through six years of college, and was established in his career (he’s sixteen-years older than me). I have been fortunate to have the means as well as the desire to stay home and raise our four children.
I’ve embraced my roles as wife and mother and I’ve made my family my career. I am a homemaker. I serve in my church, have my own hobbies and love to spend time with my family and friends. I look forward to being a grandmother someday. (I want my grandchildren to call me, “Nonnina” which means “little grandmother” in Italian.)
I know it’s typical for many of my friends and family to “go back to school” at some point, and I honestly admire them for that. However, I have never felt compelled to follow that same path. That is not my dream. I seem to know something they don’t know: I have already furthered my education in other ways. My non-homeschooling friends and family don’t get this, but my travels and living abroad, my homeschooling lifestyle, and just being a wife and mother have taught me so much! For example…
♥ I know the life-cycle of frogs, how volcanoes are formed, and other science related tidbits, from hands-on unit studies and experiments.
♥ I understand Algebra for the first time because I taught it to my son (and teaching reinforces learning).
♥ I can name various cacti of the Sonoran Desert from my nature walks through desert gardens.
♥ I’ve improved my nature photography skills simply by taking photos out in nature.
♥ I can share first-hand knowledge about Peruvian culture, having lived and traveled in Peru for four years.
♥ I can speak and understand Spanish from years of submersion.
♥ I’ve expanded my vocabulary from reading classics aloud to my children.
♥ I’ve learned planning and organizational skills, simply by planning and organizing my home and homeschool.
♥ Etc. etc. etc.
I took a cake decorating class once, with my daughter and enjoyed it because it was special mother-daughter time. So, yes, I have thought about taking a professional photography class for no other reason than my love for photography.
But, what do I want to “be when I grow up”?
I’m already that person. 😊