Lessons for Life

When I Grow Up

One of the looming questions this time of year for growing kids is: What are you going to be for Halloween? I feel like this questions is closely tied to another frequent question: What do you want to be when you grow up? One can be quite fictitious while the other can be more realistic.

From Childhood Movies

The phrase “when I grow up” always reminds me of the shows I used to watch at my grandma’s house. Shirley Temple was the favorite collection I indulged in, with Curly Top being one of my favorites. Shirley Temple sings When I Grow Up in which she imagines her life according to pictures she has seen of life milestones.

My favorite part of the movie, is after the song is performed and different members of the staff are caught singing the song, though they have clearly finished most of their growing up. With the young, talented girl entering their lives, they found themselves energized and imagining who they could become.

To Life Dreams

I feel like the fictitious dreams play a role in the realistic ones. I absolutely love fantasy, the idea of strange and magical creatures. Therefore, I want my reality to include them. In my reading and writing I’ll make fantasy a part of my everyday life. Not all little boys will grow up to be superheroes, firemen or army men, but they can develop the helpful, strong, and protecting attributes of those they admire.

Just like in Curly Top, even adults can consider what they wish they could grow up to be, and still work towards that. The milestones in her song only represented small portions and stages of life. Plenty more possibilities exist. With elements from the fictitious, life dreams can become a part of each of the milestones in life.


Consider that everyone’s timeline is different. Shirley Temple had a career as a child. The staff in the movie felt that they could still grow up. Some are married young, others later in life. Einstein was considered a late bloomer in academics. Perhaps your timeline is different than you imagined and you are just now beginning to live parts of your fictitious wishes. Or your life dreams are coming true in the distant future.

The only deciding factor is how you work towards growing up and when. Certain decisions, actions, and habits determine the timeline of growing up. What interesting timelines have you seen in your life, or lives around you? How are the growing up timelines of your characters different or significant?

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