I had desk duty today at work. On desk days, my sole job is to click a button to unlock the door if a parent needs to come inside. It’s boring. It’s relaxing. It’s dull. It’s great. I usually get a fair amount of homework done in those otherwise empty hours.
For a few minutes this afternoon, we were short a worker, and a two-year-old boy sat on my lap as I manned the desk. I dug through the pile of books in the office and chose When I Grow Up by Kay and Harry Mace to read to him as we waited for his mom. The young boy could not have cared less about that book. I, on the other hand, was engaged.
Christopher, the kindergarten-aged protagonist of the book, is often asked what he wants to be when he grows up. He, like me, enjoys many things. He could be a police man and patrol the streets on a motorcycle. If he was a family doctor, he would use a stethoscope. As a cowboy, he would get to ride a bucking bronco. Or he could be a fireman. Or a carpenter. Or a circus trainer. Engineer. Fisherman. Business man.
“Fiddlesticks!” Christopher finally proclaims. “I want to be everything that’s fun!”
In the end, Christopher’s aunt again asks him, “Do you know yet what you want to be when you grow up?” Christopher makes the right decision. “When I grow up, I will tell you.” He says, “Right now I want to be a boy because then I can make believe I am anything I want.”
It seems that I struggle daily to determine what I want to do with the rest of my life. Do I want to be a teacher? Photographer? Baker? Nutritionist? Entrepreneur? Graphic designer? The possibilities are limitless.
For now, though, I am just going to be a college student because then I can learn to be anything I want.