“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
“Do you like to homeschool?” asked the gentleman at the Y to my son.
“Yes, I do. I do not want to sit at a desk all day long like they have to do at school. My brother and sister went to school and I think that is what they did all day,” reports my youngest to the man.
“Well, someday you will need to learn how to sit at a desk-that is what the world calls work.”
At this comment, I stopped walking down the hallway with the man and took a deep breath. What I really wanted to say was, “What the h… are you talking about? Don’t tell my kids that they have to learn how to sit and that they will have to sit for the rest of their lives. Don’t crush their dreams of being a fire fighter or a doctor or a dolphin trainer! How dare you.” Of course, my actual response was much kinder and well spoken and went to the tune of, “Well, I am not so sure that they will HAVE to sit at a desk. I have a job and I do not sit at a desk. I get to play with children. (At this comment, he tilted his head and gave me an odd look). You see, I am a pediatric physical therapist by trade and I do not sit behind a desk.”
I am not sure why exactly I am retelling this story. The transaction of words affected me some how and for some reason. Is that what we are teaching our children? Do they need to learn to sit? Is that what American jobs are turning to? I still agree with my answer. No. When I think about all there is to “do” in the world, I think of many more occupations that are not behind a desk. At this point, I cannot even slightly imagine my kids sedentary. Obviously, if they choose a career that lands them behind a desk, hopefully it is one they truly enjoy. However, I hope they never feel that is the only choice.
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