Several times this week I heard the phrase ‘when I grow up’ from various sources. As a boomer finally getting to enjoy playtime in retirement, I think more about a second childhood than about being all grown up. I can’t have arrived at that level of adulthood yet. Wouldn’t that mean all the fun is over?
As a pre-teen I had a list of exotic answers to share with grown-ups who asked, all the while ignoring the fact that I held school regularly on the front steps, distributing chalk and instruction my way to neighbor students. Among my dream roles were:
*singer/dancer – I was a Julie Andrews fan.
*private eye – Nancy Drew influence
*policeman – Females can enforce laws, too, said with hands on hips.
*comedian – I made people laugh without meaning to, so creating laughter on purpose couldn’t be that hard.
*zookeeper – Except for the reptiles–eww
*inventor – I was clueless what was missing, but I didn’t lack for confidence thinking I could produce it anyway.
*famous author/treasure seeker – For some reason those two still go together in my head.
Reviewing the list in retrospect, it’s not surprising I became a teacher. It was my way of getting to do it all. Music enhances learning. Isn’t that how most of us leaned the ABC’s? Movement does, too; that’s my definition of dance. Any classroom teacher will attest to having superb detective skills, complete with eyes in back of heads. Are there any better rule enforcers than teachers on duty? I could still tickle funny bones without meaning to, and learned early on not to ask why; I would eventually figure it out. I taught elementary through high school and drove a big yellow bus – zookeeper by proxy. Most teachers are inventors by nature. Plans go awry due to myriad interruptions to precious class time; we invent modifications on the fly.
I do write. One might argue there is still time to write a whole book instead of a bunch of columns and give fame a chance, but I am too mesmerized by the ongoing treasure hunt to sit still that long. There are so many priceless words, thoughts, stories, ideas, personalities and locales left to discover. I hope we all have nuggets we cherish, but don’t settle. Keep the search alive!