Ok, so I've been thinking about my daughter Sophia a lot lately--I think about all my kids but on different levels and at different amounts as things go in life. Maeve has me all concerned behavior-wise and asthma-wise; Leo's breastfeeding techniques leave something to be desired. But Sophia has me worried when it comes to her emotional life. I feel like somehow she's downtrodden and I don't know how it happened nor how to fix it.
She is coming out of it, or I am, and this is good. I stood up for her with one mom who dealt with her daughter, who then apologized to Sophia and now they're friends again. Sophia's response to me, said with all the sighing and hand gesturing possible: "Apparently [girl] is going to be nice to me again for some reason." In other realms I try to let her fix it on her own. It's summer and friends get bored and boring and whatever. People come around.
I do worry that she's going to think of herself as a bad student somehow because the reading stuff is a little behind (but catching up fast, wow). She's not a bad student--she has mad skillz when it comes to math. She loves math. And her teachers love her. She'll be fine. But in the car the other night, one girl mentioned that she wants to be a jockey when she grows up. Sophia responded with her grow up desire: "I want to be a day care worker. Or maybe a preschool teacher?"
It's not that I don't value daycare workers and preschool teachers--on the contrary, Maeve's preschool teachers have been phenomenal. But to be going into 3rd grade and this is your aspiration? It just sort of hurt me. I said nothing. But why not vet or nurse or artist or glassblower or something interesting? Why already daycare?
I know, kids change their minds. She'll get exposed to glassblowing or acting or accounting and realize that's the job for her.
But it got me ruminating, especially because I've been wondering about what I'M going to do when I grow up (meaning, when Leo goes to kindergarten). I think back to what I wanted to do...
1. waitress (ok, ok, so Sophia doesn't fall far from any tree here)
2. nurse (my dad was one)
3. doctor (every kid goes through this phase, I think--mine lasted even through automatic admission to SLU's med school, though...)
It's the last one that's tripping me up. Back in 6th grade Br. Stephen, himself a published writer, wrote a long response to one of my theology essays trying to persuade me to use my prose as a gift and part of how I would build the Kingdom of God.
I think I write pretty well. Another Benedictine agreed a few years back when I was writing essays as part of my formation year with the oblates. Thought I should try to do something for the community's magazine. I was flattered but put it on the back burner.
Listening to Sophia in the car, and the other girl, in fact, made me wonder if maybe I could--if maybe I should. If I should do something I always wanted to do.
So I am. Or, I did. I just sent my first submission today, to another small publication. Tomorrow I'm writing to my community's magazine and asking what their guidelines are.