We’ve all heard sentences that start this way from the children in our lives (and sometimes the adults – heck, I’m not sure what I’m going to do or be when I grow up!). However, I’m amazed how many of the “Mama, when I grow up..” things my son, Tim has already done. He probably doesn’t even realize that some of the stuff he has done in his 25 years, are the things people save for their bucket list, their ‘only if’ list and their ‘pure fantasy’ list.
Mama, when I grow up, I want to be a fireman. There are two ways Tim has fulfilled this dream — he is a fireman in the sense that he spent quite a few years trying to burn my house down (see Gopher Holes). Now, he has taken a much better approach (as far as my house and I are concerned) – he is going to be training to be a forest fire-fighter starting the end of August. Smokey the Bear finally convinced him that it is much better to put out fires than to set fires!
Mama, when I grow up, I want to be a policeman. When Tim went into the Navy, he trained to be a Master at Arms – basically military police. While the thought of Tim with any type of large gun is scary – he does love law enforcement. He is continuing on with this goal – and his love the outdoors by working towards becoming a forest ranger. Okay – Tim in the woods with guns is not any less scary, but at least he’ll be happy!
Mama, when I grow up, I want to LIVE outside! Once again, being a park ranger and doing his internships has fulfilled this dream. I’m sure if Tim could have found a pack of wolves to adopt him when he was little or even a bear as in The Jungle Book, he would have run a way a long time ago.
Mama, when I grow up, I’m going to fight pirates. You’re saying that isn’t possible – but while in the Navy, Tim was stationed in Bahrain (in the Persian Gulf) and he protected ships from the Somali pirates. Yes — my son has fought pirates!
Mama, when I grow up, I’m going to see the world. And he is still doing it! He was stationed in Iceland for a year, Bahrain for about a year, Kauai (in Hawaii) for a year. He has traveled to Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia, Turkey, England – and even Canada. He has seen the national parks in the United States and canoed the Canadian-United States Boundary Waters. He has informed me there is still lots to see – and he might even take me along one of these times!
These are just a few of the ones Tim talked about growing up. He has also managed to find someone who shares his love of life, the outdoors and adventure — maybe not on his “Mama, when I grow up” list – but definitely worth attaining.
What’s next on his list? I have no idea, but I have faith that he will always accomplish what he sets out to do – and it will be a great adventure. I hope he never stops staying, “Mama, when I grow up…”