“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 planetâ€”and in her however many years of formal educationâ€”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 schoolâ€”the extracurriculars, the brown-nosing, the student government, recess.
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-sectionsâ€”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 somethingÂ 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 Â 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 usâ€”not after we essentially pumped the coffee straight into our veins and popped in our earplugs.
And asÂ 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 ofÂ invisibility.
It was like he had given Emily a cell phone.
Uncle Manny might be the favorite right now.Â
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?”
MEDICAL SCHOOL. AS A FALL-BACK PLAN. WHO IS THIS KID?
“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.Â It’s too bad we don’t have anyÂ anthropologists or archeologistsÂ in the family…