There are definitely days as a stay-at-home mom or “person on a mommy-sabbatical” as I like to call it, that are a blow to one’s ego. Having had a full life and robust career before kids, it can sometimes feel like an out-of-body experience to go from dynamic, discerning decision-making to a tedious and tiring toddler tango. Yep. I have some rough days. With that being said, the City Mouse in me, relishes the urban environment and activity that’s just outside my door as it feels like my past life is right there, a grasp away and easily attainable again, should I choose to make that decision. This is where I grew up in my career and that certainly helps.
So, it was particularly poignant on one of these tough days that I had a fascinating interchange with my little guy. (Sometimes, I wonder about the mythical power of a child’s intuition. Have you noticed this?) Recently, as the welcoming darkness of daylight savings time- bedtime enveloped us and we were snuggled up on the bed, stories in hand, my 4-year old asked, “Mommy? What are YOU going to be when you grow up?” I’m pretty sure my mouth opened and no words came out. I was left, well, speechless. And, no joke, here are the responses that immediately ran rapid fire through my head, “I’m already grown up.” “I’ve already made my choices.” “I once was an… advertising….hmmm.. …. And now I’m a…well…hmmm.” But I didn’t say any of those things. I just paused. And, after a beat, took it head on. “Well, I’m going to be a businesswoman and a mommy and a writer.”
“I’m going to be a fireman and a circus clown.” He replied concisely.
“Got it.” “That sounds like a great plan.”
Ah. To be young. The simplicity of that question at that age is delicious, yes? His answer was not filled with the angst and momentary defensiveness of my potential answer. I couldn’t help it, but my emotional response was something that I had to physically swallow down after a day feeling a bit disconnected in mommy-land. “Mommy was someone, too once! Someone important! Someone people listened to and someone who was paid quite well for her expertise. Someone with dreams, ambitions, and frequent flyer status!!” Settle, down, there, momma. Settle down. You don’t need to give him your resume. Yet.
I actually did love that question growing up and through college and through my twenties since I found the possibilities endless and exciting. Starting from a young age, answers fluctuated:
- a veterinarian
- an actress
- an acting coach
- a lawyer
- a teacher
- a sports agent
- an athletic administrator
- a speech pathologist
- an advertising sales rep
And I’m sure many others I’ve forgotten.
Although I was completely taken aback by the question, I paused to realize that I’m still entitled to an answer. It’s not like “it’s all over” for me. I’m still writing the next chapter of “what I’ll be….” Making it easier, in my mind as mentioned, is maintaining our city life at this point. It still feels to me like the possibilities are endless. The opportunities are plentiful and the center of the world is close to where we are. It’s buzzing. It’s invigorating. It’s humming and you can feel it through your feet. There are so many people who I encounter daily who are doing great things and starting ventures and living out passions and that is truly inspiring.
Truth be told, I have a few ideas of “what I’ll be” next. It’s my next endeavor. I’m planning to make a plan. And I can’t wait to start working on what’s next and sharing dreams for the future… with my little firefighter- circus clown.
Until next time,
The City Mouse