Monday, September 13, 2010

Growing Up

I just came across this piece I wrote up years ago. I had been asked to speak to a group of young girls from church on the importance of getting an education and preparing for the future or something like that.

I can remember being a very little girl and thinking that growing up was all a big hoax. I'm not kidding! I really didn't believe that my parents had once been children. That they had been born as babies into this world and grown to adulthood was inconceivable to me. Nobody could live that long. The days I knew moved altogether too slowly to make that possible. I truly believed that these two people, my parents, had been put in place on the earth as fully-formed adults, with manufactured histories, for the sole purpose of being my parents. They could tell me all the stories of their childhoods they wanted; I inwardly shook my head and doubted their actuality.

It's no surprise then that I lived my childhood day to day, thinking it would never end. I didn't seriously consider "what I wanted to be when I grew up." I didn't even consider it non-seriously. I thought I'd be a child forever. Well, in spite of what I wanted or believed, the years went by, a few changes occurred, and I found myself a teenager. This was okay though. It was a lot of fun. I had fun friends and good times. I was also a good student and I enjoyed learning and I loved to read. But it never crossed my mind that I should be planning ahead. I thought I'd be a teenager forever. College never crossed my mind until my sister, who is just nineteen months older than I am, was filling out college applications. Two years later, I found myself at Brigham Young University.

Boy, was it fun! And the classes were okay, too. But guess what? Two years went by and I still hadn't given much consideration to what I wanted to be when I grew up. I thought I'd be a college student forever. And then all of a sudden, I knew without a doubt, that growing up was no hoax. I had to choose a major and choose one fast. For the first time in my life, I was forced to look ahead. I considered different subjects I could study, and decided I'd like to be a teacher. I went ahead and majored in Elementary Education, thinking it would be fun to work with children. Maybe I would be able to convince some of them that, yes, they would grow up someday. About the same time I decided on a major, I met my future husband. Naturally, the thought of marriage had never entered my mind at any time prior to this. Let alone the thought of someday being a parent. As I continued with my studies, however, I could see how my education would not only prepare me to have a career as a teacher, but the things I was learning I could put to use in raising my own children someday.

Well, I got married and finished my education and eventually we had our first child. The most important thing to me was being a mother. I worked as a substitute teacher until our baby was born, and then I put all my energy and education into raising my children. And the education didn't stop there. I'm a firm believer in continuing education, even in an informal way. I have continued to educate myself through reading, keeping up on what's going on in the world, and taking occasional classes. I am a teacher every day. I pass on my knowledge to my children. I encourage them to learn all they can and to look ahead!

Recently I have started substitute teaching again. My youngest child is in school all day and the schools are short on substitutes. I thought I'd try it out and see how it goes. If it doesn't interfere with my most important job of being a mother, I'll keep it up. I have found that I really enjoy teaching. I feel a sense of satisfaction when I can explain an idea to the kids (either at school or at home) and they get it! It's very rewarding.

I wasn't able to be a child forever. I wasn't able to be a teenager forever. I wasn't able to be a college student forever. But guess what? A mother and a teacher I can be forever.

1 comment:

  1. I LOVE this! Amen, Sister! (my kids enjoy having you for a sub) :-)