"What do you want to be when you grow up?"
Adults ask children this question all the time. I don't know if it's just that they have no idea what to talk to the kid about, or if they really want to know, but it is a common question. Grown-ups asked me that, when I was a young'un, too.
I remember answering like any other kid. I want to be a doctor, a nurse, a lawyer, an astronaut, a writer, a teacher. The great thing about children, is they don't think about the money they will make or what type of schooling it will take to achieve that goal. They just want to be it, whatever "it" is.
When I was about 6, 7 or 8 years old, I remember wanting to grow up to be just like my mom. Funny thing, is I see that same tendency in my own 6 year old. She mimics me, patterns her style of doing things after me, and I find myself wondering if she wants to be like me when she grows up. Fshew, that's a scary thought. lol Faith and I procrastinate together, but when we finally get up and do what we're supposed to do, we often start singing together. I'll be washing dishes, while she is picking up her toys, and I'll start a song. Before too long, she's singing right along with me, and soon our chores are done. But, I digress. :)
I don't think I thought seriously about what I wanted to be when I grew up until I was around 15 or so. I thought about it a lot, but there just didn't seem to be much choice. On the one hand, folks would say I could be anything I wanted to be. On the other hand, folks would say I had to be realistic. Having dreams was one thing, but at some point I had to come down to earth and think about what I truly wanted. There were jobs that blind people just didn't do, not because they were not smart enough but because it took sight to do those jobs. I was not, I was informed, ever going to be able to be an astronaut, a doctor, a nurse, a school bus driver, and I might as well get over it while I was still young. In my mind, that left only teaching.
After graduating high school, I did go to college, intending to be a teacher for the visually impaired, but both times i started school, I quit. Then, I got married, and for a time, being a house wife was enough. I went to a local vocational school for a year and received a certificate of completion for medical transcription, but no matter how hard I tried, I never got a job doing that. I did work for a time in Romney WV, preparing braille documents for mailing. After that, I worked at Blind Industries and Services of Maryland as a sewing machine operator. Then, I went to the school of hard knocks and learned what a selfish woman I really was. Or, put more plainly, I got pregnant and became a mom. lol
Now, with my 33rd birthday fast approaching, I have finally figured out what I want to be when I grow up. :) I want to graduate from medical school, so that I can have the know-how to diagnose my families' illnesses and do something about them. I want to go get my driver's license, so that I can give disabled folks a ride where ever they want to go. Finally, just for grins and giggles, I want to be an airplane pilot.
A couple of days ago, I took my 3 year old to the doctor. I KNEW she was sick. For a couple of nights she had had a fever. She was coughing, some and sneezing, occasionally. I didn't know for sure, but I thought it was probably an ear infection. For one, her breath smelled funny, and when my girls' breath smells like that, they need an antibiotic. Just for the record, I've only been wrong once. :) Sure enough, the doctor looked in to her ears and both were infected. She's on an antibiotic. So, am I a doctor, sort of? Maybe. What about a teacher? I only have 2 students, but I'm teaching all the time. Faith is learning about word problems by counting how many bananas we have and then figuring out how many loaves of banana bread I could make with them. lol She's learning to read, and that comes in handy when I need labels on canned foods read to me. So, am I a teacher? Why, yes I am.
As for the astronaut, lawyer and pilot, well, those will have to wait a while. lol My mom always said I'd make a good lawyer, because I like to argue. Ha! While at Space Camp in Huntsville Alabama, I learned that even if I could see, I'm too short to go in to space. As for flying, anybody out there game for taking me up in their plane?
Just for the record, people who are blind can do anything they set their mind to, even if that job requires sight. Where there's a will, there's a way. A few years ago, I read about a man who is blind graduating from medical school and earning his MD. Last year I read about a woman who is blind being a beautician. Several months ago, a man who is blind took his family for a drive around Daytona Speedway. He used technology created by the folks from the National Federation of the Blind and students from Virginia Tech, and drove around the track. They threw boxes in his way, someone even pulled out in front of him, and he and his family still live to tell the tale. I know a man who is blind, and he rides a bicycle without any sighted assistance. I have a friend who is blind, and she makes baskets and sews quilts. I have a friend on FaceBook who is blind, and she writes her impressions of WV ball games, and gets paid doing it.
Here's a couple of things I've been pondering on. First of all, have I grown up to be what I wanted to be? Yes, I have. I'm an author, a singer, a song writer, a piano player, a wife, a mom, a crocheter, a baker, but more important, I am a Christian. Except for the writing and piano, I have grown up to be what I thought my mother was at that time. Second, have I achieved all that I wanted to achieve? No, I have not. Remember that plane? I wonder if it will be as I imagine, now that I have no sight at all. I used to want to feel it lift in to the air and be able to look out and see the sky. Of course, I can't see the sky, but will it be as thrilling, anyway? Guess there's only one way to find out. :)