When I was just a little girl
I asked my mother, “What will I be?
Will I be pretty, will I be rich?”
Here’s what she said to me
“Que Serà, Serà
Whatever will be, will be
The future’s not ours to see
Que Serà, Serà
What will be, will be”
* * * * *
Doris Day may well be right. Who knows what’s around the corner for our children? Or ourselves for that matter. And yet I love to play the what-will-you-be game.
Noodles, I think, could have a good career as a gymnast or stuntman. He’ll happily flip out of my arms. Whilst carrying him down the stairs sometimes. Luckily I’ve figured out a way to hold his arms, keeping him safe without giving friction burns as he backflips to the floor. Whether he’s landed on his feet or his head he’ll straight away want to do it again and again. He’s the only one of my children to fall backwards off a slide…and as soon as the tears have dried and lack of concussion has been established has run back at it full pelt for another go.
He’s also obsessed with trains. If I’m to get out of the house with any sense of urgency or enthusiasm we have to detour to the station over the road and time it to coincide with a departure. Which is a swine because there’s only one train an hour. Luckily they coincide with the school run.
However, being a train driver isn’t that exciting any more. However, watching him playing very assertively with his wooden train set, maybe he’d be better in a more strategic role. CEO of Network Rail, perhaps?
Or he could be a dancer. He’s bursting to get in the studio and copy Boo. He managed to open the door one Saturday morning and by the time I realised the laughing coming from the studio he was sat in the middle of the circle of little girls with a massive smile on his face.
OK, maybe either a dancer or the next Hugh Hefner. Perhaps I should keep my eye on what happens to the bunny ears left over from Easter. If he takes them along to Boo’s ballet class tomorrow and presents them to the prettiest girl in a leotard then I’ll know I’ve got trouble on my hands.
Boo already knows what she wants to be when she grows up: a pantomime actress. Every Christmas she repeatedly goes to see the local panto. She’ll be able to recall the jokes, the songs and will have her favourite scenes nailed. Throughout each and every performance she’s entranced.
But there’s another reason Boo’s keen to tread the boards at Christmas:
‘If I’m a pantomime actress I only have to work in December each year.’
Would it be cruel to dash a 6-year-old’s dreams by pointing out that even if you only work for one month of the year you still have to pay the mortgage for all twelve?
Personally, I think she’d make a great barrister. Her arguments are usually watertight.
For example, the other day we were riding in the car on the way to visit a farm.
Husband: So, do you think…
Boo (annoyed): Daddy! What does ‘everybody’ mean?
Husband: It depends. It could mean everybody alive in the world. Or it could mean the four of us in the car. It depends on the context.
(Husband thinks he’s being a Good Dad by teaching her a new word.)
Boo: Good. Now, by itself, is the word ‘Everybody’ a sentence?
Husband: Errr, no. To be a sentence it must include a clause with a subject and a verb.
(I just had to look that up to make sure I got it right. But it was Boo who originally taught us the necessary components of a complete sentence after learning it at school. Once again I can’t truly believe her school is failing – she knows far more than I did at six. Than I do now. Anyway…)
Boo: That’s right, Daddy. So, when I said ‘Everybody…’ you knew i was talking to everyone in the car – including you – and you knew it wasn’t a complete sentence so I hadn’t finished talking. So you knew you were interrupting me.
Boo: Now, as I was saying, everybody…
How I stayed on the road despite laughing so much I have absolutely no idea.