Wednesday, 24 April 2013

When I'm big, I want to be a .....

When I'm big, I want to be a .....
24 April 2013

One of the oldest questions ever.

What do you want to be when you're big?  A hugely important question actually, as the answer can set the tone, essence and quality of life, for the rest of that very same life.

And I would imagine that parents have been asking their offspring this question, since time immemorial.  Though I do suppose for pre-historic man, it was possibly slightly less important, as their options were rather limited.  And so for pre-historic boys, the question was perhaps, "do you want to drag a red haired girl around by her hair after killing your daily quota?".  "Or do you perhaps rather fancy yourself a brunette?".

The future career path of your child is rather important.  It affects so very, very much.  As a school going child, it affects their subject choices.  It affects their extra murals and the direction you help lead them into.  As a teenager and young adult, it can affect their dependency on you, as you have to support them whilst they are doing their studies.  And as an adult, it affects both your life and theirs, as a wrong choice or poor career path will severely affect their ability to be self-sufficient and independent, and drain your financial resources.

I remember dreaming big dreams when I was still a chillum.  I wanted to be an archaeologist like Indiana Jones.  A legal big wig, ruling the courts.  Convicting terrible criminals and always getting the baddie.  A beautiful and talented actress for sure.  A famous singer no less.  Possibly a teacher, teaching the littlies – my best.  A journalist, writing the most amazing stories ever.  A world class photographer.  A psychologist, helping to fix broken people.  But mostly, I simply wanted to be a mom.  And a really, really, really good one at that.

And now, as a parent, I am enjoying watching my kids future career dreams.  I have often asked them what they want to be.  And it is rather funny, seeing how their answers change as they get older.  As littlies, their job desires are completely unrealistic.  Being a superhero like Batman or Spiderman sounding ever so grand.  And let’s not forget a fairy princess, going to fancy balls all day long.  But even being an “ordinary” hero often plays a big role, and therefore they have expressed the odd policeman and fireman wish.  However, as they have gotten older, they have realised that these jobs are not glamorous at all.  Especially in sunny SA.  Furthermore, they are very dangerous and can potentially cost you your life.  And then sadly, they’re badly paid jobs too.  And so if earthly riches and comfort is your aspiration, these are not very wise career choices.

During his playschool and pre-school years, Luke expressed a deep desire to be a “hockey-hologist”.  Clearly archaeology dreams run big between the two of us.  Though I think Luke’s obsession came from his need to discover dinosaur bones.  And to be truthful, I sort of pandered to this.  I would plant coins in the garden, and send him out with a little bucket and a spade, and he would go a digging.  He absolutely loved it, and the joy on his little face when he finally found some loot was worth every cent it cost me.  Though, I was rather cheap.  I only planted 5c coins, though they had been spray painted gold for a pirate party I did for him one year.  He loved it!  And so this also led to a phase where he wanted to have a career digging for treasure.  Right!  But, I do find it funny, how sort of prophetic his “hockey-hologist” dreams were, as hockey is his very favourite sport in the world.  And a career as either a hockey player, hockey coach or sport physiotherapist with a hockey team, would be perfect for him.  And so, he now wishes to follow a career path, dealing with sports injuries and just with sport in general.  This has been pretty much a constant dream for the last few years.  Time will tell if it sticks though.  To be truthful, he did have a brief spell where he also toyed with being a lawyer.  I egged him on strongly in this direction, as he is just sooo good at arguing…..  However, the first time he told me that he didn’t have to do his Afrikaans homework, as it was an infringement of the South African charter for children and a violation of his most basic human right to receive education in his primary language, my sense of humour deserted me.  And then, just the other day, he decreed that he thinks being a car guard would be fantastic.  I am deeply troubled.  And much to his horror, when he told me about his wish to be a car guard (the child is fifteen, surely the bar has been set a bit higher by this stage?), I nearly crashed the car.  I laughed so hard.  I did apologise much later, but at the time, I nearly peed in my pants.  He was quite miffed with me actually.  Once I recovered my composure, I told him that it was a marvellous idea and that I was sure he would do really well.  I even suggested that we could go looking for a lovely little lumo reflective car guard vest so long.  You know, to make him stand out.  Quite funny, when a teenager’s biggest wish is to blend in.  I told him he was sure to look handsome in his vest and perhaps we could start finding out so long, where he would like his beat to be.  Perhaps at Checkers in Somerset West?  Or Pick ‘n Pay instead?  I felt it was only fair to warn him though about the continual risk of sunburn.  Something he fears most.  And so, he wisely decided that it would be best if he pursued his car guard dreams at the underground parking at the local Mall.  Yip, he’ll be financially dependent on me for life!

Now, as for my little Berry?  For the longest time, she wanted to drive a digger loader, and make roads.  I know, not your average little girl dreams.  Still she has always been a quirky kid and so I expected no less from her.  Naturally, she is also convinced that she is going to be both a world famous actress and singer too.  Can’t imagine where she got that from.  And for fun?  A super model.  Would anything else really suffice?  Her fascination with “make-ups”, lotions and potions since she was small, also led her to express a wish to be a beauty therapist.  And I am sure she would really love this, as it is right up her alley.  Especially if this allows her the opportunity to paint nails all day long.  And this would so play right into her personal grooming schedule, as it would give her a bona fide licence and excuse to wear oodles of make-up all day long.  However, she is amazingly talented with kids though, and personally I think that she would be a brilliant teacher.  She is exceptionally patient with small children and as a big sister, she has spent hours teaching Cole stuff.  And as for playing school-school!  She is fantastic!  She even has the mean teacher voice down pat, when her student is disobedient.  Though, her evil father, has thrown a spanner in the works.  Pretty much since birth, he has coached and coaxed her along the path to physiotherapy.  But, I know that he has done this for purely selfish reasons and personal gain.  He loves a good massage.  And with an eye on the endless supply of massages he would have on tap if his daughter was a physiotherapist, his motives are clearly not pure.  Still she has persisted with the physiotherapy thing quite a bit too.  Once again, time will tell.  But hey, chances are either which way, I could potentially score.  Either with loads of free make-up samples, or massages galore.

But perhaps, my wisest child of all, is Cole.  Whenever I ask him what he wants to be, he gives me a very quirky answer.  An answer always related to money.  And so for instance he’ll say, “a-policeman-so-I-can-drive-a-fast-car-do-they-make-lots-of-money?”.  All said in one continuous breath.  And if the answer to his question is “no”, then he simply changes his answer.  There is simply no way, that he will NOT be financially independent one day.  He likes money far too much.  His maths skills are not the greatest, however, any maths question, accompanied by a rand or dollar value, immediately escalates his ability.  In fact then he’s a fiscal genius and giant.  And so all career options for Cole, are always accompanied by the question “do …..(enter career) make lots of money?”.  Followed thereafter by his second most important question, “can I buy a fast car?” or “do …..(enter career) drive fast cars?”.  And so, just this past week, when the kids and I were driving in the car on the way to school, they were talking about what they want to be one day when they grow up.  And my boy Cole?  What did he answer?  What job does he want to do?  What does he want to be one day when he’s big?  Well, it was actually quite simple.  His answer was, “I want to be rich”.  And I’m sure he will be.  The actual career path he chooses to meet his end goal, will probably not matter much, as he is already focused on the outcome of that career.

In fact, I am one hundred percent convinced that Cole will meet his objective.  Of that I am positive.  And so, chances are that he will choose my Old Age Home for me one day, as he will probably have to pay for it too.  Which means that instead of him being financially dependent on me, my guess is that I will be financially dependent on him.  So best I be nice to that kid.  Which explains why I took his forgotten lunch box to school for him today.  Best I start sucking up now.

Still I suppose I’m better off than one friend of mine.  When her son was just five, he expressed a deep seated desire to be a postman.  This, the son of a pharmacist and a dietician.  He reckoned it was a way cool job to have.  You get to ride you bicycle all day long, post letters in post boxes and all the dogs everywhere always bark at you because they like you so much.  Right!  Good luck with that.  Still, possibly it is better than my uncle Willem.  When he was little he wanted to be an Assistant Train Driver.  Potentially a good choice, as there is way less pressure on the assistant than on the proper Train Driver.  And he could always pass the buck if there was a problem. 

Yet somehow, the Postman and Assistant Train Driver aspiration all seem rather glamorous when compared to those of my cousin, Maria.  When she was just a little chillum, she wanted to be a Police Dog.  And we never quite managed to figure out why.


  1. Well done keep it up love te blog ,
    Has I spired me to complete my book and start my own. Know idea how to comment as? Anyway is me Andy xxx

  2. I really enjoyed this one! Made me laugh so! As for our Maria - the Police came to playschool to chat to the kids, Police dogs in tow. All the kids were so impressed, they all wanted to become Police men and women that week. But not our Maria - being an animal lover of note , and CLEARLY impressed by the dogs - she decided she wanted to become a Police Dog! Made perfect sense to her!!