Charlotte, walrus-to-be extraordinaire.
March 13, 2012

“When I grow up,” she tells me, “I will be a walrus.  And no chickens will drink around me EVER!”

I remember when she was little, how I looked at her asleep and I wondered who she would be.  What she would say.  How she would look.  Who she would resemble.

Donald and I would look at each other and marvel at her.  What had we ever done without her?  What could she possibly be dreaming about right this moment?  Did she know how deeply she was cherished?  Was she happy?

And now that we’re here, now that she’s older, I have a hard time accepting it sometimes.  Not her size or her personality…just that she really is her own person.

When I was a kid, I wanted to grow up to be a nurse.  A teacher.  An archaeologist.  A nuclear physicist.  A forensic anthropologist.  An author.  And then, last of all, I wanted to become a mother.

But I never wanted to be a walrus.

“What do you think walruses do all day?” I ask her.

“They probably eat,” she says.  “Are walruses bigger than Harvey?”

I look at our cat, asleep on the couch.  “They sure are,” I chuckle.

“Good,” she says.  “I need to be bigger than Harvey when I am all growed up.”

THIS, this is her.  This is that same precious child I couldn’t imagine any longer than my forearm.  And now I can hear about her dreams and I can see that she takes after my husband.  And suddenly we are reaching a point where what she does and thinks and says is all her own.

I love her all the more for it.

“Well if you want to grow up bigger than Harvey then you should probably eat some of that broccoli, don’t you think?”

“No,” she says.  “I do not think walruses eat broccoli.”  And before I have a chance to stop her, she’s walked out of the kitchen and dumped her broccoli in the cat’s dish on the way.  When I ask her why she did that, she tells me that Harvey needs the broccoli to grow bigger.  She can just drink Momma’s milk, she tells me.

Hmm.  Maybe this ‘her own little person’ thing isn’t all it’s cracked up to be after all.

** Charlotte is two years and seven months old.


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  1. By Sasha on March 13, 2012

    Precious.  What a smart little person you are growing!

    As my son is napping right beside me I am also wondering who he might grow up to be. He is only seven months old, but its already too old for me and I miss his babyness.  But at the same time I cannot wait to talk to him and hear what he dreams about, what is in his mind.

  2. By Sarah on March 13, 2012

    When I was 5 and my sister was 3 , we were grocery shopping with our mother. We were singing a song I can only assume we learned on PBS because that is the only station we watched. One person would say “WHat do you want to be when you grow up?“ and the other would shout out “a doctor” or whatever occupation they chose. I was a little bossy, so baby sis never got a chance to name her job. Finally, she looked at me and asked to have a turn. I sang my part and she stopped and yelled real loud “A DICTIONARY” it was the biggest word she knew :)

  3. By Amber on March 13, 2012

    That is the most awesome thing ever!!!

  4. By missjoules on March 13, 2012

    We always joke that Robin is going to be a fireman space cowboy when he grows up, but I would not be disappointed if he decided to be a walrus instead :)

  5. By on March 13, 2012

    I think about this all the time. I told my husband the other night that I think our son will be a ninja. That boy is LOUD but can sneak away so quietly when he wants to (he is 3). My daughter (she’s 4) tells us she wants to be a rock star. And she is. With a bit of firefighting and cake baking on the side. I love the pure imagination and ambition at these ages.

  6. By on March 13, 2012

    Being a walrus could be pretty awesome. Any idea what the “no chickens drinking around me” was about?

  7. By dini on March 14, 2012

    It’s pretty awesome!

  8. By Sarah Christensen on March 14, 2012

    Erica - We have a little water dish on our front porch for the cats that the chickens like to visit, presumably because their coop in the backyard is JUST TOO FAR AWAY.  Anyway, Charlotte finds it VERY distressing when the chickens “steal” water from the cats.

  9. By Stefanie on March 15, 2012

    Does Charlotte know the Beatles song “I am the walrus”? She might probably like it.

  10. By tara pollard pakosta on March 15, 2012

    Charlotte is GREAT!
    tara

  11. By Sarah Christensen on March 15, 2012

    Stefanie - You know, I don’t think she does.  What a great idea, I’ll see if she likes it!!

  12. By wholesale fashion jewellery on May 21, 2012

    Thanks for the great read. I’m so glad that someone finally explained this stuff.


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