What Will They Be When They Grow Up?


I know some parents that have put a lot of time, effort and money into very specific career paths for their children, at a very young age. I think that’s great, but I want to tell you something: Your kid may not know what they will be when they grow up. In fact, they may not know for a very long time.

Childhood is a time to try all the things, under the watchful eye of a loving parent. It is a time of discovery and adventure.

Don’t be too quick to decide on what you believe your child’s very specific path will be. Life can be tricky. To illustrate this point, I give you my own awkward tale. 

What I Wanted To Be When I Grow Up

I grew up on a farm in Virginia. If you were lucky enough to be raised on a ranch or farm, you know that sort of life gives you loads of interesting and unusual stories. 

When I was just a young girl, I wanted to be a veterinarian. Not a small pooch/cat vet, but a large-animal farm veterinarian. I’d had my appetite wet by none other than James Herriott, and well…..I WAS on a farm. It seemed like the natural progression. For YEARS, I was obsessed with this goal. I WOULD BE a veterinarian. With every fiber of my being this is what I wanted. I envisioned myself living a life of barns and muck boots.

I studied every book I could get my hands on. I jumped at any opportunity to learn more about medical and surgical procedures involving animals.

My dad had, among other things, the largest and most state-of-the-art hog facility in our state. Complete with a records office, a farrowing room, and weaning rooms. There was even a shoot to bathe the sows in when they came from the outside to deliver their babies. It was all quite the posh operation for raising hogs.

The Art of Castrating Pigs

It was in this facility that I learned how to castrate pigs. Yes, that’s right. My dad taught his oldest little girl how to castrate pigs. I can remember it all very plainly. And I enjoyed it. Not the actual TAKING of the pig nuts (sorry), but of my new-gained knowledge of the surgical procedure. It was exhilarating! I felt so grown-up; so useful. Just me and my dad, working together…muck boots and all. Just getting the job done. 

You’ve probably guessed by now that the whole vet thing never materialized. For one thing, it all back-fired in high school. My best friend used to tell about my hog castrating skills as a party joke, which she found hysterical. In case you’re wondering, this WILL NOT help your popularity or help you get a date.  At some point-(probably the point at which the amount of schooling required to actually BE a veterinarian was discovered)-shopping, make-up and clothes moved to the front and center of my little world. I went to college and happily majored in fashion-marketing.

I share with you my odd and amusing memoir to remind you to indulge your child’s curiosities. Passions will come and go, but the more experiences they have to hang on their little “hooks” the more confident and well rounded they will be as they grow up.

Also, if anyone is looking for a farm hand- I’ve got skills.

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?