I've often caught myself saying "when I grow up I want to be..." and each time wonder what constitutes actually "growing up." One could assume that growing up came with it some sort of age stipulation or knowledge base, but I know plenty of adults who with age have not grown up at all; These are the types of people who, in their immaturity, have no respect for the feelings of others.
Over the weekend I spent a great deal of time with my brothers (notice the plural here) and have a new found understanding for what it means to say "when I grow up." My older brother, the one I don't speak of all that often, but honestly should, said while we were in the car that when he grows up he's going to play the guitar. This is the brother who can't tie his own shoes, can't brush his own teeth, and certainly wouldn't know what to do with a guitar if it were sitting right in front of him--never mind the fact that due to an aneurysm at the age of two lost 90% usage of his left hand. This spawned a new game among the Rowe siblings (thankfully we've moved on from 20 questions) and we spent quite some time discussing what he would like to do when he grows up.
After his junior high band concert this week, my little brother stated that when he grows up he wants to have a garage band. He wants to play bass. Like most things that come out of his mouth I realized this garage band wasn't going anywhere because he'd have to actually clean out the garage. In addition to the garage issue, when he was five he said he wanted a rabbit, got a rabbit, and within a week forgot he ever wanted that rabbit. To this day I'm not entirely sure where the poor rabbit went, but I'm willing to wager a guess that it met an untimely fate. The Rowe children are notorious for their inability to keep pets alive...
Both of my brothers brought to my attention the concept of what growing up means to kids (and I include my older brother in this category despite him being nine years older than I am because he is at heart a very content two year old)--as children we have this idea that being a grown up means you can do what you want and have little else to worry about other than your garage band practicing schedule and what song you'll learn next on your guitar.
More than anything I hope for the happiness of my brothers and in their own skewed view of growing up, I think they'll reach that happiness (my older brother, I think, already has). While discussing my little brother's report card, he said something that I think I'll treasure for the rest of my life, though I know without a doubt it reflects my complete nerdiness--he said he hopes when he grows up he can be a little more like me. I am the uncool sister who would rather read a book than watch a football game, the one who obsessively cleans her apartment when he comes to stay, and yet, when he grows up he wouldn't mind being a little more like me. Awesome.
As I was driving home yesterday I was thinking about who I want to be when I grow up (yes, I still consider myself a kid and wonder at what point a person stops thinking about what they want to be when they grow up) and my first conclusion was a particular person. Then I thought about where I want to be when I grow up and the only thing that matters to me is if my brothers are close by. Who I want to be when I grow up in all reality has less to do with me and more to do with the people who remain in my life when I've grown up.