When I grow up
I want to be

When I grow up I want to be,
A fireman, just like Jim;
I'd put out fires and save stray cats
And puppies, just like him.

When I grow up I want to be,
A soldier brave and true;
I'd fight and stop the enemy,
And make it safe for you.

When I grow up I want to be,
An engine driver daring;
I'd drive the world's most famous trains,
Real fast with whistle blaring.

When I grow up I want to be,
A pilot flying high;
I'd fly up in a Spitfire and
Be master of the sky.

When I grow up I want to be,
An ocean diver deep;
I'd dive right to the very bottom,
And find some pearls to keep.

When I grow up I want to be,
A jockey in a race;
But I wouldn't use a little whip,
To make my horse keep pace.

When I grow up I'd like to be,
A doctor or a vet;
I'd make all the animals and people well,
And safe from any threat.

When I grow up I want to be,
A detective or a cop;
Or drive a highway chase car,
And make speeding drivers stop.

When I grow up I want to be,
A teacher, don't you see;
I'd make all the little children smart
And clever, just like me.

When I grow up I want to be,
A cowboy with a horse;
I'd round up all the wandering cattle,
And catch baddies too of course.

When I grow up I want to be,
A barber cutting hair;
I'd charge $100 for every cut,
And be a millionaire.

There are so very many things,
I think 'd like to be;
But whatever I become I hope,
Will be good for you and me.

Copyright © 1999, 2000 Old-N-Bold. All rights reserved.

Fantasy is an important creative faculty. Fantasies of children and adults are sometimes called day-dreams and are usually connected to the future. Despite being seriously overlooked and under-estimated these so called 'castles in the air' do provide a basis for very real activity and are important in the developmental process. Indeed, they never cease being important.

Fantasies very frequently begin with the words "when I am grown up" yet, very many adults live as though they are yet to grow up. The 'when I am grown up" syndrome is closely connected to the fact that our civilization expects us to set certain goals, goals that provide social recognition and significance. To 'grow up' is to grow toward or arrive at full stature or physical or mental maturity Not surprising a child who proclaims that he wants to be an actor is not treated seriously and a parent is just as likely to have selective hearing and believe that the child really meant 'doctor'.

In contrast to the meaning of the words "grow up", the word grow has a completely differnent, much gentler meaning. Its meaning offers far more scope for serious goal setting.

To grow means:
Main Entry: grow
Pronunciation: 'grO
Function: verb
Inflected Form(s): grew /'grü/; grown /'grOn/; grow·ing
Etymology: Middle English, from Old English grOwan;
akin to Old High German gruowan to grow
Date: before 12th century intransitive senses
1 a : to spring up and develop to maturity
b : to be able to grow in some place or situation
c : to assume some relation through or as if through a process of natural growth
2 a : to increase in size by assimilation of material into the living organism or by accretion of material in a nonbiological process (as crystallization)b : INCREASE, EXPAND
3 : to develop from a parent source
4 a : to pass into a condition : BECOME
b : to have an increasing influence
c : to become increasingly acceptable or attractive

Just think how the world would change if the focus in talking to children was about the influence they would have rather than on status and income.


1. Using the definition of to grow, as a springboard, pull out wild metaphors that resonate to you and make a collage that expresses how you want to grow.

2. This magnificent photo collage of Blanche d'Arbeloff presents and extraordinary narrative of a creative journey.

Blanche was Young at Art and, at the age of 94, when people might be excused for staring trancelike at flickering images on their TV sets, she began painting. In the last three years of her life she produced an extraordinary body of work bursting with vitality, spontaneity and originality.

How does Blanche d'Arbeloff's story impact on your notion of 'growing up'? Consider what you could do instead of staring trancelike at the TV. What creative pathways do you feel compelled to explore?