“When I Grow Up”

Several times this week I heard the phrase ‘when I grow up’ from various sources. As a boomer finally getting to enjoy playtime in retirement, I think more about a second childhood than about being all grown up. I can’t have arrived at that level of adulthood yet. Wouldn’t that mean all the fun is over?

As a pre-teen I had a list of exotic answers to share with grown-ups who asked, all the while ignoring the fact that I held school regularly on the front steps, distributing chalk and instruction my way to neighbor students. Among my dream roles were:

*singer/dancer – I was a Julie Andrews fan.
*private eye – Nancy Drew influence
*policeman – Females can enforce laws, too, said with hands on hips.
*comedian – I made people laugh without meaning to, so creating laughter on purpose couldn’t be that hard.
*zookeeper – Except for the reptiles–eww
*inventor – I was clueless what was missing, but I didn’t lack for confidence thinking I could produce it anyway.
*famous author/treasure seeker – For some reason those two still go together in my head.

Reviewing the list in retrospect, it’s not surprising I became a teacher. It was my way of getting to do it all. Music enhances learning. Isn’t that how most of us leaned the ABC’s? Movement does, too; that’s my definition of dance. Any classroom teacher will attest to having superb detective skills, complete with eyes in back of heads. Are there any better rule enforcers than teachers on duty? I could still tickle funny bones without meaning to, and learned early on not to ask why; I would eventually figure it out. I taught elementary through high school and drove a big yellow bus – zookeeper by proxy. Most teachers are inventors by nature. Plans go awry due to myriad interruptions to precious class time; we invent modifications on the fly.

I do write. One might argue there is still time to write a whole book instead of a bunch of columns and give fame a chance, but I am too mesmerized by the ongoing treasure hunt to sit still that long. There are so many priceless words, thoughts, stories, ideas, personalities and locales left to discover. I hope we all have nuggets we cherish, but don’t settle. Keep the search alive!

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About Teresa Pearson Lee

Retired after 33 years of teaching English and French (one year in private school in Memphis, TN and the rest in public school in Doniphan, MO. Enjoying new adventures - all those things I put off for lack of time, energy, now I can try them! Pottery, writing, traveling, camping, kayaking, dancing, listening to some of the best live music ever, and making lively new friendships. All christened with an appreciation for great red wine! Created and operated KC's on the Current, then sold it and managed it for new owners. You might still find me at the reservation desk when spring rolls around. Born and raised in St. Louis, MO near The Hill. Though a transplant to Southeast Missouri, still a city gal at the core with a deep love of the natural resources in these Ozark foothills. Currently I am a content coordinator for Poplar Bluff Living Magazine and a columnist/stringer for the local weekly The Prospect News. My rescue Siamese helps with most of the proofreading; he has a great ear. I relish the solitude easily had in the Mark Twain Forest but thoroughly enjoy lively outings for music, wine, conversation close to home or in my beloved hometown. Technology is my greatest challenge but so worth the shared connections. There may be a need for solitude but there is little loneliness. The material in this blog written by Teresa Lee is her property and cannot be used without express written consent to do so.
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