What do you want to be when you grow up?

On August 9, 2009 by Aimee

Why is it that a five year old can stimulate the mental processes more than years in school, placement counseling, Myers-Briggs tests, etc? Probably because they have no preconceived notions about what they should be. Maybe because they can be anything they want and continue to have the open mind to doing just that?

In a fifteen minute care ride this morning, my daughter Abby began the age old conversation, a little differently.

“Mom? Do you know what I’m going to be when I grow up?” she asked so sweetly, with that air of innocence.

“A turtle?” I responded. I have a cousin who always said she was going to be a dog when she grew up. It was always funny because once she did grow up, we could pick on her — kindly of course. Now, since Abby opened up the conversation with no boundaries, why not see where she was going with it?

“No, Mommy. That’s silly.” Ah, so she did understand becoming another creature would not be possible.

“An airplane pilot.” Her Dad suggested.

“Noooo,” she sang in response.

“What are you going to be, Abs?” I asked to see where she was going.

“Ummmm.” She responded. Her thinking cap was clearly on as she tapped her finger against her cheek. I could see it through the rear view mirror. She looked around as she often does when in thought — trying to find the answer within her field of vision. This is quite the comical adventure sometimes. So I wasn’t expecting her answer when it finally came forth.

“I’m going to be Spiderman!” Her announced was wrapped in glee.

Ok, so maybe she’s not as aware of what she can become.


Perhaps, by choosing to be spidey, she’s actually suggesting she’ll save the world through heroic efforts — like a doctor, minister, missionary, physicist, etc. So many possibilities!

I think I found what I want to be … I know my husband has and will be a commercial flight instructor one day. My children however, have a world of possibilities in front of them … and they don’t even have to limit themselves to the professions we call real.