The progression of career choices starts young. Somewhere around three my older boy started trying to decide his adult career. This first decision making period named him as future fireman, and sometimes a policeman.
Another day I found him in deep thought about these career choices as well as alternatives for these choices. He turned his big blue eyes on me and his little face was scrunched up with the effort of his thinking. As I watched him I could see his expression slowly relax as he started to consider me. I could see the little hamster in his brain pause on the wheel and then start running full speed. An honest look slid into place on his face and he said, “Mom what do you want to be when you grow up?” Both amused and stunned I couldn’t get a witty response out quickly enough, and he just kept on talking. “Do you want to be a garbage man? I do.” With that another career choice was born.
After this stage we went through a ninja period. He wanted to be a ninja and fight bad guys to make the world a safer place. He, of course, made the logical switch from ninja to Power Ranger, the red power ranger to be exact.
His current career choice is to work for Santa. When he grows up he plans to be one of Santa’s elves. He even assures me that I will be able to visit him in the North Pole, and he will come home to visit when he gets holidays!
My younger son wants to be Hulk! He has not yet swayed from that goal, he proudly stated the fact on his pre-school “Get to Know Me” questionnaire. The poor pre-school teacher has a future Hulk smashing around the classroom. He practices his Hulk skills at the dinner table by flexing after eating a truly challenge food like carrots. He flexes so hard that his little face turns bright red and his body shakes with his effort! I have to confess that his desire to reach Hulk status has been helpful with increasing vegetable intake in his diet.
Anyway, I know their career choices will vary greatly over the years, but these first occupational choices are rich in childhood dreams and the wonder of imagination!
By Shari Marshall – written for April 18, 2017