When I Grow Up

When I was a little girl, I wanted to be a scientist when I grew up. Every Christmas I requested a chemistry set and a doll. The doll was a subject for experimentation. I read the encyclopedia and the dictionary for fun. And I much preferred my own company to playing pin the tail on the donkey at a noisy party. I guess the biology major and degree in dental surgery puts me in the science realm but I really didn’t turn out the way I expected. I thought I’d be the person my mother bragged about to her friends. I remember listening to her describe me and thinking, “Is she talking about me?” I’m not nearly that fascinating. At one point, I wanted to be the girlfriend my exes gloated over as they pointed to my picture. Unfortunately, I was never quite that nice or that two-dimensional. After I married and had children, I tried so hard to be the mother in the parenting books. She was somewhere between a helicopter and a torpedo. I could do one or the other but mastered the middle. I never set a single goal for my own development, choosing instead to follow my interests. So now I’m the chronological equivalent of five little girls and I still feel like jello in my own skin. Formless. And I finally realized that what I really want to be when I grow up is someone who continues to change…adapt…recover…and survive. I guess I kinda want to be everyone when I grow up.


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