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What Do You Want to be When You Grow Up? | Today's Cliche - Marriage, Family, & Working Mommy... from BOTH Women's and Men's Perspectives

Saturday, October 20, 2018

What Do You Want to be When You Grow Up?

January 6, 2010 by  

What do you want to be when you grow up?
I have been asked this a thousand times, and I’ve asked this a thousand times.
The “what” just naturally falls off of my lips.

About 2 years ago, while running, I was listening to Shmuley Boteach (wonder if he got beat up for his name on the playground) on Oprah Radio, on XM. What he was saying was so profound, that even dripping sweat and smelling like a pig’s crotch, I immediately hopped online and ordered it from Amazon.com. I have read this book 8 times already, and last night commenced my 9th. Each chapter is ridiculously insightful; in particular, the 1st chapter speaks volumes to me.

Chapter One:
The question becomes:
“Who, not what, do you want to be?”

Boteach then tells a story about his daughter (1 of 8 children, might I mention…), Chana, who calls him persistently — when she knows he’s headed to (and then again while he’s at) a very important dinner where he will be speaking/presenting. She is nagging him for an answer about whether or not she can color her hair. Boteach finally gives in, both out of annoyance – and to get her off the phone.

On the drive home, Boteach realizes his driver (must be nice to have a driver, Schmuley…) probably hasn’t eaten any dinner yet. The Good Samaritan that he is, he invites said driver into their home. He asks the nagging daughter – who disappointed him earlier – to prepare a quick meal for Mr. Driver. Although the teenager was fast at work on the computer completing homework, she gracefully (and without complaint — I can NOT say my daughter will do the same when she’s a hormonal tween) prepares the meal and participates in adult convo with the stranger.

Boteach then sits Chana down and says, “Let me tell you a story about 2 girls. The 1st girl is prepared to call her father and bug him over something superficial, shallow, and self-serving, even after she’s been told that he is busy preparing for an important charity event.   The other girl is at home, on her computer, studying for an important test, but when her father asks her to prepare dinner for a hungry stranger, she does it willingly and without complaint. The second girl treats the guest as if he were a visiting dinitary, and when her father sees this he is filled with pride. It is a story of two different grls, Chana. One girl, really, but with two totally different facets. Who do you think I’m talking about?”

Of course, Chana knows it’s her. Boteach nods and finishes with, You have to choose. One cancels the other out. The two girls inside you will forever battle for predominance, and you have to choose: Which one of those girls do you want to be?”

“Children are a blank slate on which will do our writing”.

The last bolded statements spoke VOLUMES to my heart, my pride, and my desires for my own children. Do you think this strategy will work on my (just turned) 7 year old daughter? My 5 year old boy? My 3 year old preschooler? My 1 year old toddler? I’ll keep you posted!

VERY PROFOUND. I had to share.

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7 Responses to “What Do You Want to be When You Grow Up?”
  1. Heather says:

    Thanks for friending me on FB and through SITS… love your blog!


  2. Ally says:

    That was great! I may have to look into that book!


  3. Ally says:

    Okay, just checked – he’s got a lot of books! Which one do you recommend?


  4. Melissa says:

    Fantastic post. How true the last statement is. I even feel like it can be said about us as we go through life. We change…constantly trying to figure out which person we want to be. Thanks for the insight.


  5. Kat says:

    Sorry, I didn’t mention the Title… What’s my deal today (or, yesterday!). Ally – it’s “10 Conversations You Need to Have With Your Children”. It’s an EASY read… book isn’t too think; hard cover, and mine has TONS of dogearred pages!

    When you clicked on the link I provided, did it “not” take you directly to that EXACT book, on the Amazon.com website? Did it take you a whole bunch of books? I’m referring to the following link:

    “I ordered it from Amazon.com” = http://www.amazon.com/Conversations-Need-Have-Your-Children/dp/0061134813?&camp=212361&creative=383961&linkCode=waf&tag=todscli-20

    Let me know! You won’t regret a moment of reading it. I intend to touch on a chapter over the next days and weeks. Hugs!


  6. Melissa says:

    I love Schmuley! He used to have his own show called Shalom in the Home on TLC. It was good, he was kinda like “Supernanny”, but for parents that weren’t communicating or families that were disconnected. I will definitely get this book. An interesting factoid on this note….there is a documentary called 7up which the premise is you are who you are by age 7. They interview kids from age 7 to 49 (the same kids/adults) and track them through life and I haven’t seen it yet, but am told it’s very interesting because their personalities are the same (same decision making at 7, still same at 49, etc). So I guess I only have 4 more years to make my little man into the man/adult I want him to be, better get on that:)


  7. Kat says:

    Okay, then I am S_C_R_E_W_E_D with a C_A_P_I_T_A_L…. “S”!!

    Our oldest, Cecelia (CC), JUST turned seven a few days ago… and if I don’t have any more chance/stabs at her… look out!!

    However, there are many things I’m proud about RE: the person she’s become. So, since I can’t turn back time, I guess I should think of the glass as half full, not empty (a challenge for moi).


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