When She Grows Up

I distinctly remember wanting to be a Firefighter, growing up.  Or, a lawyer.  The Nana always said I had a propensity for words. (And, quite frankly, anyone who uses the word propensity when speaking to their children should expect such things.)

That day, back in 1976, when an actual Firefighter came to our classroom to tell us all about his job, was etched in my memory.  My ears had perked up when the firefighter told us that they got to watch lots of TV and eat heaping plates of lasagna between fire calls.  What six-year-old doesn’t think that’s living, right there? Many different professionals made their way into my Kindergarten classroom that week, but this one… This one lit a little spark in my heart.

Our teacher asked us to draw what we wanted to be when we grew up, at the conclusion of that exciting week. There was no question in my mind! I was just sure that between the yellow firefighting suit (Hello! That’s my color!) and the ability to help people, I’d found my Calling.


Fast forward a couple of decades.

I am no firefighter.

I am, however, a parent.

That’s a different kind of fire fighting, right there.

Am I right?

Anyhoo, we are nearing the end of the school year, around here. Sweetgirl’s kindergarten class has hit that part of the yearly curriculum where they begin touching on what they want to be when they grow up.

You can probably guess what made its way home this week in Sweetgirl’s folder…


Oh yes, indeedy!

Apparently, my six-year-old daughter wants to be a Firefighter when she grows up. Shocker!

She would prefer to douse those flames with a pink flower barrette in her hair, thank-you-very-much! I was also informed that why she really wants to be a Firefighter is because you can,  “be friendly and get to save people.”

I’m wondering at what age it will dawn on her that in between taming flames and outrunning fireballs, she’s not going to have a whole heckuva lot of time to be chit-chatting it up with the folks she’s saving.

I can see it now…

“Hi, I’m Sweetgirl and I’m here to save you and your kitties from the fire! OOOOooh, you have 13 kitties?  What are their names?  How old are they? Did you buy them at a pet store?”

And then, there are suddenly two people and 13 kitties that need rescuing.


I’ve heard it said that there are no people who can run faster than their guardian angels can fly.

I say, “Have you met my Sweetgirl?”!


Maybe I should start praying for the firehouse that might end up with their very own blonde-haired Five Alarm.  They only have about a decade and change before she storms their gates! I should also warn them to stock up on the mac-n-cheese.  She’s no lasagna fan.

Actually, I think I’ll just pray that she follows her heart, as she pursues her calling.

And, I’ll keep a stash of pink barrettes waiting in the wings.

What did you want to be when you grew up?  Did you end up doing that?  Or something else?  (I ended up teaching elementary students. I guess you could say I became a Fire Starter? )