December 19 11

“I want to be a surgeon. Or maybe I just want to play one on TV.”

Emily has just finished up her fifth-grade science unit on the human body. So far, in her almost eleven years in this planet—and in her however many years of formal education—she has not enjoyed a unit in school as much as this one. I mean, the girl was doing extra research at home in her spare time, just for fun. If you know Emily, you know this is not like her. She is an excellent student, always has been, but she typically isn’t overly enthusiastic about academia. She loves the social game of school—the extracurriculars, the brown-nosing, the student government, recess.

Until now.

This one stuck.

“I want to cut people open and play around with all of their insides. And then close them up.”

“It’s amazing that doctors can just FIX PEOPLE. I really want to do that!”

“The human body, Mama. It’s really so unbelievable that it does what it does. SO unbelievable.”

“Or maybe I’d like to do c-sections—cutting babies out! Awesome!”

“Or maybe I could just be on Grey’s Anatomy. But I better get to wear scrubs and a white lab coat.”

I’m not saying this is set in stone. I mean, in fifth grade I wanted to be an anchorman. But, I love that she is interested in something academic at school. Truthfully and honestly, though, if you asked me, I’d say that I already know in my heart of hearts that this child is destined for the stage. Or the small screen. Or the big screen. That’s where her passions truly lie. She lives and breathes music and dance. Her face alone gives her away. I remember taking her to see The Sound of Music several years ago, and I spent the entire play watching HER FACE instead of watching the actual performance.

She was watching everything, noticing everything, soaking it all in.


That’s what she was doing. Studying. Researching. Learning. How to stand on the stage. What to do with your hands. Who to look at when she  is on the stage, but not part of the conversation. How to project. How to keep that smile. SCHOOL. That’s what it was. School for her.

This past weekend, we threw the kids in the car for a quick, just-over-24-hour trip to Montreal for my brother-in-law Manny’s 30.5th birthday party. Curling. And, obviously, for some cuddles with our La Belle Provence nieces. That’s a long way to go to go curling and cuddles, you say. It is, indeed! But truthfully, we just really like them. I feel more than a little lucky that I honestly and legitimately LIKE my husband’s three sisters and their spouses. I really like them, I like spending time with them. This was almost a no-brainer for us—not after we essentially pumped the coffee straight into our veins and popped in our earplugs.

And as souvenirs, Uncle Manny sent my three home with three used pacemakers that he dug out of the trunk of his car.

It was like he had given Isabella a brand-new American Girl doll.

It was like he had given Josh a legit cloak of invisibility.

It was like he had given Emily a cell phone.

Uncle Manny might be the favorite right now. 

I’m just saying.

So, last night I asked Emily.

“Do you REALLY want to be a surgeon…because that’s kind of more than a little bit awesome.”

“Well…maybe. If the career on stage doesn’t work out. It’s a good fall-back plan, don’t you think?”


“Sounds good, Emily. Sounds like a great plan. If the stage doesn’t work, you can become a doctor like Uncle Manny.”

I wonder what she will think of her next unit in school. It’s too bad we don’t have any anthropologists or archeologists in the family…

  1. Wow. That’s impressive. I don’t think I ever really wanted to ever be a doctor. And a class on the human body would have sealed the deal to NOT be one. Good for Emma!


    Comment by Kristabella on December 19, 2011
  2. I love her so much! And way to show y’all up with the pacemakers, huh? :) HOpe to see you very very soon!


    Comment by Jana A (@jana0926) on December 19, 2011
  3. Did you just use “legit” as an adjective? I have friends who use that slang, and it kills me!


    ali replied on

    WHATEVER…two spaces after a period…


    Avitable replied on

    It’s still acceptable, dammit! I like how it looks, too.


    ali replied on

    I’m really just messing with you.
    I personally don’t like a double space, since it doesn’t make sense to me unless you are using a typewriter. But, it’s totally okay for you to use…I just wouldn’t be okay with it if you were writing for me and I had to edit your work. Heh.

    Avitable replied on

    Yeah, I can never write for you – I’d keep putting in double spaces and you’d keep pulling them out and it would become a vicious circle. :)


    Comment by Avitable on December 19, 2011
  4. I think she should play one on TV. She’ll make just as much money (or more!), she gets to pretend to do all the cool stuff and she doesn’t have to worry about medical malpractice. Win/Win!


    ali replied on

    Agreed. 100%


    Comment by Meghan on December 19, 2011
  5. Surgeon as a FALL BACK career. That’s it! I give up! You win at parenting. ALL OF THE PARENTING THINGS!!!!

    She’s so awesome.


    Comment by pgoodness on December 19, 2011
  6. [...] word hoopla even come from? And why people don’t ever leave me comments anymore…I mean, my post about Emily wanting to be a doctor was GOLD and then there was the post about me basically being Amish, complete with pictures of me [...]

    Pingback by » Early Bird. The Only Thing I Catch is a Cold, Though. Cheaper Than Therapy on December 20, 2011
  7. Love it, Ali. So it seems your daughter is a mini me. My first career choice: actress (seriously, I did some stage stuff and commercials etc). Back up choice when that didn’t pan out: doctor. (which did pan out)

    But I gotta tell you: when I was a resident and staying up all night in the hospital working like a slave, we would simetimes watch ER (the TV show with Clooney, ya know) in the lounge if we had a few minutes…and those guys, pretending to be doing what we were actually doing, were making a million dollars an episode…we were making $800 a week. To your daughter, I think the first option might be the most prudent. ;-)


    ali replied on

    Ha! After my brother-in-law told her how many years of school you need under your belt to be a surgeon, she seemed to be leaning more towards the acting path. hhahah.


    Comment by Kim Foster MD on December 20, 2011
  8. Sounds like you guys better start saving your pennies for med school! Good for Emily for knowing what she wants and sticking with it. I hope 10 years down the road it’s all working out for her.


    Comment by Dianna on December 20, 2011
  9. Instead of playing as a Doctor, why not choose a career as a Physician Assistant? :)


    Comment by David on January 5, 2012

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