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the mommyhood memos: i wanna be a rockstar when i grow up

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

i wanna be a rockstar when i grow up


"When you were a little girl, what did you want to be when you grew up?"
This is one of my favorite questions to ask people when I first meet them. As fun and whimsical as it is as an icebreaker, it can also tell you so much about a person. Because as children, we were free to dream without someone telling us we’re being silly or illogical or unrealistic. As children we weren’t worried about the schooling involved, the required qualifications, the upfront expenses, or what the paycheck would be later on.
Heck, we weren’t even worried about being talented enough. Because, you know, it was before all those dreaded insecurities sneakily made their way into our beings.
We lived by the slogans of the US Army and Nike: Be All That You Can Be and Just Do It.
And then—usually somewhere around high school, or perhaps even middle school—someone “talks some sense” into us. And all of a sudden we no longer want to be a ferris wheel operator or a ballet dancer… we want to be a real estate broker. (Not that there’s anything wrong with being a broker… but it sure doesn’t sound as fun or as romantic as being a rodeo cowgirl, now does it?)
Just as most kids do, I had my fair share of fleeting career aspirations, which largely stemmed from watching too many movies and TV shows. I wanted to be: a nanny with superpowers (Mary Poppins), a fighter pilot (Top Gun), an astronaut (Space Camp), a BMXer (RAD), an attorney (Perry Mason), a doctor (The Cosby Show), a detective (Murder She Wrote), or a princess (you-name-it-Disney-movie).
But I also had a few longer-lasting career ambitions as a child:
The Mommy.
The appeal: Moms fix boo-boos, kiss babies, decorate the house, and choose the menu.   All things I couldn’t wait to be in charge of. (Apparently I didn’t notice the chores, the errands, the actual cooking of the menu, and the sleepless nights.)
The Rock Star.
The appeal: Rock stars are loud, bold, dramatic, wear cool clothes, star in awesome music videos, and can make large groupings of people sing along with them whenever they want to. (I’m still waiting for my lucky break into the music biz.)
The Broadway Star.
The appeal: Broadway stars sing, dance, take on other personas, wear pretty costumes, and get the boy. Oh, and they have flowers thrown at them every time they perform well. (Too bad my six-year-old self dropped out of ballet because they wouldn’t let me dance. But who could blame me? They just kept making me stand there {gasp} and called it fifth position or something. Borrr-ing.)
The Pediatrician.
The appeal: Pediatricians help mommies with their babies, give advice about caring for children, and help make kids and families feel better. (The bajillion years of necessary schooling eventually turned me off from this one.)
The President.
The appeal: The President works for justice, establishes laws, serves people for their common good, creates a better life through education and health care, forges new territory, and makes friends with other nations. (As a child I never thought about being in charge of things like the economy or war… Being President doesn’t look nearly as glamorous to me as it used to.)
So that’s my short list – the five careers I “seriously” considered between the ages of three and… thirteen.
Fast forward to fifteen years since leaving high school, and I’ve now had the opportunity to be a number of things: a preschool worker, a janitor, a bartender, a waitress, a popcorn server at the movies, a customer service rep at a bank, a tele-surveyor, a secretary, a public relations exec for a local government branch, a Bible teacher, a self employed minister, and a full-time volunteer for a non-profit.
Not one of those fit into my top five childhood career ambitions… until January.
In January I became a mom.
Maybe I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up…
Or maybe I do.
As a mom I fix boo-boos, kiss babies, decorate the house, and choose the menu. I’m sometimes loud, usually bold, often dramatic, star in all sorts of (G-rated) family home videos, and try to wear cool clothes. I definitely like to make others sing along, and I’m constantly making up songs and dancing for—and with—my baby. I take on other personas (during story time). I wear pretty costumes and I got the boy (who often throws flowers at me *blush*). I try to help other mommies with their babies. I sometimes share tips about caring for the children. And I do my best to help make kids and families feel better. I work for justice, establish laws, serve people, create a better life through education and health care, and forge new territory… in our home and in the little world we live in.
Yes. I am… a mom.
And us moms? I’m pretty sure we do it all.
We work dang hard, both at home and beyond… sometimes with lots of pay and recognition, and often with very little.
We put in long-hours. We work through our lunch breaks. We rarely get a sick day or a “mental health” day. We continue working right through our vacations. And we never, ever sign off at 5:00pm.
But we do it knowing that the future is curled up on our laps and drooling all over our clothes. We do it knowing it’s a future worth working hard for.
It’s good to be a mom.
And you?
Dear friends, as a child, what did you want to be “when you grew up”?   How can you see your childhood fantasies being worked out in your life now?  Do you recognize your dreams taking another form?  What is one thing that you need to do that you always dreamed of doing?

dreaming of my packed out stadium,


{This post was originally published as a guest post on Nirvana Mamma on September 11, 2011}





adriel booker | the mommyhood memos | 2011
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8 Comments:

At March 30, 2011 at 11:22 PM , Blogger Casey Martinez said...

You had some awesome ambitions as a child! hehe. I don't think I ever wanted to be President. That seemed like far too hard of a job for my whimsical taste;0. lol. I always wanted to be a teacher and now in a sense I get to be one every day with my daughter. I also loved being creative and decorating and I am loving that I get to express those thing through my blog now. God is good to give us the desires of our hearts..he just tweaks them a bit and makes them even better! hehe

 
At March 31, 2011 at 4:28 AM , Blogger Nessa said...

I wanted to be president too - I acctually wanted to be the first women president. I dressed up as that for Halloween even.

The other careers were teacher, doctor and CEO with my own office. I made it in the big corporate world - not quite CEO but close enough. I never looked at the rest, but mommy trumps them all. You are very right!

 
At March 31, 2011 at 4:33 AM , Blogger The Empress said...

I don't think you'll believe me when I tell you, but I have wanted to be a mom since I was 5 yrs old.

I had to wait till I was 35, and it didn't come easy.

Which, now, in hindsight;makes the trip here so much the sweeter.

 
At March 31, 2011 at 11:32 AM , Blogger adriel, from the mommyhood memos said...

@Nessa,
Yes, me too. Can't believe I didn't add that detail! I definitely wanted to be the first *woman* president. The good news is that it still hasn't been done. We both have a chance, Nessa! :)

@Alexandra,
Oh, I believe you alright. I think I decided I wanted to become a mom when I was about 3 actually! And I waited until I was 32. It took me a while to find a good husband (I was 30), but once we found each other we didn't wait long to start our family!! Thankfully conception was fairly easy so that didn't draw our process out longer. Ryan and I were both so thrilled to become parents - definitely a long-standing dream come true for both of us. The part that is sometimes weird to me now is how I am so happy to be a mostly SAHM/WAHM, but I do love it and wouldn't change a thing (for these early years at least). It's a huge privilege.

 
At March 31, 2011 at 2:42 PM , Blogger Getrealmommy said...

I too dreamed of being a rock star or a broadway leading lady...sadly not enough talent.

Being a mom, being a recruiter, I have a good life. But nobody throws flowers at your feed for calming a tantrum, and I get no applause for filling a job.

So still, sometimes I do dream...

 
At April 2, 2011 at 10:22 PM , Anonymous Galit Breen said...

Yes, yes being a Mom is the sweetest most terrifying most wonderful job. Ever.

I so love that rock star and president were on your list!

On mine? Was artist.

I became? A teacher and a Mom.

And now? My list is still growing. That's okay, right?

Loved this post.

 
At April 3, 2011 at 2:55 AM , Anonymous Bruna said...

I think it's funny the things we want to be while growing up and then to finally see the route we actually took.

I wanted to be a teacher. Guess what I do? I teach First Graders and love it.

Guess I knew myself as a young kid.

Cute pic! Added myself to your Google Friend Connect:)

 
At April 5, 2011 at 3:49 AM , Blogger amygrew said...

All I wanted to do was play and coach volleyball, which I do. My list has changed dramatically. I NEVER wanted to be a mom, now I wouldn't want to be anything but be a mom.

Great post!

 

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