Doctor Teacher Artist

Sophie decided, almost a year ago now, that when she grows up she will be Flower Girl to the Rescue. According to Sophie, Flower Girl rides in ambulances, taking people to the hospital when they need help, healing them, and then giving them flowers. Every time we pass a red-painted curb, Sophie announces, “When I grow up, that is where I will park my ambulance to help people.” Sometimes she tells me that Flower Girl is a nurse, and sometimes Flower Girl is a doctor, but the whole idea has remained remarkably consistent for almost twelve months now. At our last trip to the doctors, she told every single person she saw that when she grows up, she is going to be a doctor too.

Then she decided that she also wants to be a teacher at her preschool. She’ll teach in the mornings, then rescue sick people in the afternoons. She thinks that teaching at her preschool looks like one of the most fun possible jobs and it is another reason that I love her preschool.

Then she added artist into the mix. Because, for the past few months, she has been drawing absolutely amazing things. Here are the pictures she drew yesterday alone, at home and school.

People keep telling her she should be an artist. The other parents at preschool keep telling me, “Wow, you can really tell she’s five years old; her art is so much better than my four-year-old’s artwork,” and I don’t know how to politely respond that actually, she just turned 4. It seems way too boastful to say that I’m enormously proud. Instead, I say she is a bit obsessive (I’m proud of that, too, actually: her capacity to sit still and concentrate may serve her well in school), or that she gets it from her father’s side of the family (which is true).

So, doctor-teacher-artist. That actually sounds feasible, to me. If Oliver Sacks does it or Raymond Williams, why can’t Sophie? Many doctors are also professors and writers, I think, and there must be some who make visual art too.

Sophie’s latest plan is to divide up the days of the week so that she can have lots of different jobs and never be bored. On Mondays, she’ll be a preschool teacher. Tuesdays is Flower Girl to the Rescue. Wednesdays she’ll be an artist, and Thursdays she’ll be a librarian.

Maybe I should be disturbed at how much I enjoy listening to Sophie’s ideas.

She also thinks it will be important to have time to do nothing, and I entirely agree. Then she added that doing nothing requires a lot of jumping around.

I wonder whether aspects of this will actually affect what she becomes. The empathy, creativity, and energy: I hope that all of that lasts. For now, it’s nice to blog it so that I can remember this moment of her life-plans before she changes again.

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