The lovely designer I met last week told me she has wanted to be a clothes designer since she was eight years old. I too, as a young child, had very fixed ideas about what I wanted to be. Up to the age of around 10 I wanted to be a vet for wild animals (since they have no vets), then I wanted to be a film star (like you do) then a writer. Never when asked the question adults invariably ask children ‘what do you want to be when you grow up?’ did I not know.
My children have no idea. I am longing for them to show some (any) consistent interest or passion for something. Here is a list of all the things they have tried over the past five years or so: art, judo, football, horse riding, rugby, ballet, tennis, jazz dancing, hip-hop, piano, violin, guitar, swimming, gymnastics and golf. Apart from Leo (who is mad about anything which involves a ball) they have shown no real aptitude or liking for anything. Maybe I have exposed them to too much?
But as a parent all you want to do is let them try as much as possible so they can see what they’re good at. Olivia’s violin teacher suggests she is so good at arguing she should become a barrister. I am not averse to that idea, but was rather hoping he might declare her fit for the role of First Violin with the Vienna Philharmonic.
Bea has said she wants to be a singer, but gave up guitar as soon as she had the chance. So she’s obviously not that serious about it. Knowing poor Bea she will just become what Olivia tells her. Leo will I hope become a sporting superstar so I can spend my twilight years on the sidelines of a cricket pitch, tennis court, rugby field or whatever.
Whatever else it will be interesting to see where their true passions lie. I just hope it’s not polo. Unless Olivia does become a barrister. Then she can pay for the ponies.
Copyright: Helena Frith Powell 2009
I have been a big fan of your books for a few years though had to go and buy ‘More More France Please’ on Saturday as its the one I hadn’t read. I have recently ‘discovered’ your blog and have just spent the last week going back to the start of your blog posts and reading them all (it was a very quiet week at work!).
In fact I am now at a bit of a loss to what to read now I have caught up…guess I will start on your newspaper articles now…
I am very envious of your life but love your writing so keep it up!
PS I still don’t know what I want to do when I ‘grow up’… and I am 35 😀
Thanks for your lovely comment, there’s lots on the National website to keep you busy, click on Magazine.
When I was growing up I wanted to marry Prince Andrew and be a princess…
Unfortunately Sarah got in the way 🙁
Reminds me of my youngest cousin – a long time ago when I was going to marry my first wife, we visited an aunt of mine to see if her 6 year old son would like to be our page-boy at our wedding.
We sat through tea and talked and talked but my cousin hadn’t met my fiancee and shyness was getting the better of him. He hid himself in one of the inner rooms and refused to come out when asked to do so, much to my aunt’s annoyance.
Getting more and more annoyed by the minute, she stood up and called out to him but he still refused to make an appearance. “Your cousin is here to speak to you” she tried, “He’d like you to be a page boy”.
There was a brief pause before a loud voice thundered “I DON’T WANT TO BE A PAGE BOY”. My aunt turned bright red as he continued, “I WANT TO BE A FIREMAN!”
My parents thought that I should become either a teacher or a nurse. Neither appealed to me and I told them I wanted to become either a sailor or a farmer, which I was told I could not do as I was a girl. After having heard this I told them I wanted to become a boy because they had more fun. Luckily these things have now changed a bit…..
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