The other day my daughter asked me what I did. (After digging deeper I figured out thatthe kids at school were talking about the professions that their parents had.)
I informed her of my full time, low paying, but highly rewarding job. Taking care of her and her brothers…and her dad.
I asked her what she wanted to be when she grew up.
“I just want to be fabulous.”
(I have to admit that perhaps I have a few too many Marilyn Monroe quotes around the house.)
But in that moment, I couldn’t have been prouder. (I also couldn’t have laughed harder.)
The surprising response made me think. A lot. Why was it so surprising? Because of my expectation. My expectation (along with everyone else’s) that she should have responded with a career choice. Perhaps she was onto something far more brilliant.
Why is it that we continuously ask kids what they want to be, but never who they want to be? What if instead of having them pick out careers as kindergarteners, we had them pick out qualities that would embody the person they want to become. What if when they drew a picture of what they wanted to be when they got older it was a picture of someone with a big heart? Big ears? A large brain? Bendable arms to hug with? And when they described who they wanted to be when they grew up their description didn’t include a profession. But instead included adjectives like, “fabulous,” “honest,””inventive,””kind.”
The career decisions will come. And don’t get me wrong, of course they are important. But careers come and go and are ever changing. What remains constant is our character and the constructs of what makes us who we are. When that is in tact, we can be content human beings no matter where we find ourselves in our career and what we end up doing. So perhaps our focus should be on asking kids who they want to be so they understand that who they are is far more important than what they do. And that who they are influences the level of happiness that they have in whatever they choose to do.
This has prompted an experiment in my household. Over the next year I am going to ask my kids who they want to be once a month.
I will keep you posted on this experiment, and I invite you to join me. Let me know how your kids respond on Twitter! Tag me @margene_salzano using the hash tag, #whodoyouwant2b
Perhaps society won’t change overnight, but perhaps my home can.
In the meantime? You can find me being fabulous with my 5 year old.
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Being a full-time mother is one of the highest salaried jobs in my field, since the payment is pure love. -Mildred B. Vermont
For my fellow Midwesterners who are stuck inside trying to get keep warm amongst this crazy polar vortex, this one’s for you.
If there is one thing I learned from growing up in the tundra it’s that, tastebuds are rather unaware creatures. You could be in the middle of chaos, freezing your butt off, yet somehow none of it affects your tastebuds needs. You would think that when you are in the middle of crises your tastebuds would loosen up a bit and let some more questionable food items slide on down the palette. But your tastebuds still want food, and they want food that…they like.
So, it’s time to meet the needs of those high maintenance taste buds. With ease. This my friends is what we call compromise. Good tasting food that doesn’t even require an oven.
That’s right, no bake cookies. (A midwestern favorite)
Two dozen no bake cookies
Total cooking time: 6 minutes
1/2 cup butter or 1/2 cup margarine
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup milk
4 tablespoons cocoa
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter (or chunky but is seems to make a more crumbly dry cookie)
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 -3 1/2 cups dry quick-cooking oats
1.) Add the first four ingredients into a 4-quart sauce pan.
2.) Bring to a rolling boil and hold for 1 minute.
3.) Remove from heat.
4.) Add peanut butter into the hot mixture and stir until melted.
5.) Add in vanilla.
6.) Mix in the oats and drop by tablespoons onto wax paper.
7.) Let cool until set.