When I Grow Up

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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.

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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?”

Sigh.

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. 😊

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20 thoughts on “When I Grow Up

  1. juniper9173

    I love this. My daughter is only 8 but people sometimes ask what I want to do when she’s older. It seems that there’s this push this pressure to become something else when my question is, Why can’t we just be content with being content? Let it be. Be happy with who we already are ,what we’ve already done. It’s okay to do more but it’s equally okay to be happy being happy😊 I applaud you for being content.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I agree that you are already that person that you wanted to be when you grew up, and that is wonderful. I know that homeschooling is a great thing for growth. However, you are not finished learning, making goals, improving, growing and becoming even more of what kind of person you want to be.

    My Uncle passed away a couple years ago. I miss him dearly. He was in his sixties and retired. He always talked about what he wanted to do when he grew up. I loved it. It was so inspiring. It was a constant reminder that “growing up” is forever. It is not something that one does from child to adult and is done. One is never done seeking the next step or the next goal–that would make life very boring.

    My grandma just passed away at 90 and I think she was still trying to become what she wanted to become. I believe that in heaven, people continue on by improving upon what they have become in earth life. I believe that even Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother still have goals of learning, improving, becoming and growing!

    Next time someone asks you, please do not think that they are insulting you and telling you that your life has been a waste of time. That is not what they are saying at all. They are merely saying, “What would you like your next adventure to be?” In “Don Quixote,” book 2 at the end of the 2 books, Don said his next adventure was what would happen after mortal death.

    Please ponder the questions:

    What do you want to improve upon?
    What do you want to work on next?
    What have you always wanted to learn that you haven’t yet?
    What have you always wanted to do that you have not done yet?
    What do you want to do with your kids next?
    What do you want to do with your parents, siblings, husband next?
    What do you want to learn next?

    It is so exciting! Enjoy the next adventure! And the next! Also, thanks for sharing your journey with me!

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  3. Oh Lisa, I am not saying I am finished learning and growing. Every time I study my scriptures, every church meeting I attend, every time I serve others and certainly as I teach and learn alongside my children, I am learning and growing. My point was that I did not put any career dreams on hold to be a wife and mother and those will always be my most fulfilling roles in life. So, even when I’m one hundred and two, I will say I grew up to be a wife and mother.

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  4. I grew up singing that song, too. 😊 Someone asked me if I’ll ever go back to teaching public school again, and I laughed as I answered that I’ll be 60 by the time my youngest leaves home, and I hope I’ll be a busy, busy grandma many times over by then.
    Like you, I’m doing just what I want to be doing. What a blessing!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. It’s such an exciting journey, Camie. I’m really excited for you! Yes, I’ve realised I’ve learned so much just through homeschooling my kids. It’s almost like re-learning everything you thought you knew. Only those fuzzy stuff becomes clearer like Math logic and scientific theories. At least, that’s how I’m learning things now. 😛

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Muy bien! Ha!
    I always wanted to be a writer and began while my last two were in their high school years. Now, with a blog site or two, and about 4 books in constant state of almost finished, I am she. 🙂
    Lovely post. ❤

    Like

  7. survivingbutterfly

    I agree, you raised your children and now it’s time to do whatever you enjoy. I’m scared of my children growing up because I want to protect them forever. Who knows where life will take me by then. 😕

    Liked by 1 person

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