Muse. Ramble. Rant. Repeat

Of Shooting Stars and Shoemaking Elves

She stops her colouring and stares into my eyes.

“How do you decide what you want to do when you grow up?”

She’s five years old and has a habit of asking me serious questions because she knows I give serious answers. I remember being her age and feeling like I wasn’t being told things because I was too young. In the summer we laid underneath the stars during a meteor shower; while other people talked to their children about god’s wishes flying across the sky, I explained how these “stars” were really just pieces of rock coming towards Earth burning up in the atmosphere. We then talked about the names of the constellations and while there was a moment of confusion when she thought Santa lived on the North Star (I had to clarify where the North Pole was) she understood what I was telling her and now explains to anyone who will listen the basics of the solar system.

“I’m asked in school what I want to do but I don’t know. And what if I decide and change my mind?”

I need to think about this one. I refuse to give her a trite answer. A few weeks ago she brought me a colouring book that was a few years too old for her – on one of the pages were math problems including multiplication and division. Instead of telling her it was too old for her, we spent an hour learning how to do it. It’s not that her parents don’t do the same; it’s that I want her to always believe I will take the time and teach her the things she doesn’t understand. I will answer the questions no one else will. I will pick her up in the middle of the night when she thinks she’ll get in trouble if she calls home. I will be as good as aunt to her as I can be because my sister always took the time for me.

 “You don’t decide until you’re my age. You can do whatever you want to and you can change your mind a million times and it doesn’t matter. What is important is that you need to do something that you love to do. However, you will always have to work hard. You need good marks and to practice – if you don’t do those things you start to limit what you can do. So no matter what you do you need to do your best.”

She nods.

“So I don’t have to decide until I get old?”

“That’s right. And even then you can change your mind”

“Did you always want to do what you do?”

I laugh; I know the answer to this one.

“No, I wanted to be a shoemaker when I was your age.”

“A shoemaker?!?”

“I wanted to meet the elves that help make the shoes. But then I discovered that elves don’t help everyone to make shoes. Most people get no help from elves. So I decided to do this instead.”

She giggles at the ridiculousness of shoemaking elves and goes back to her colouring, telling me she might want to be an artist.


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  1. * Summer Fades says:

    Loved this. Innocence…So sweet. :)

    | Reply Posted 8 years, 8 months ago

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