Growing up I was determined to be Shuttle Commander for NASA, at least after becoming the first female fighter pilot in the U.S. Air Force. That dream changed January 28, 1986. I was sitting in my fourth grade classroom eating lunch. We were allowed to eat in class that day because the Shuttle Challenger was launching and taking teacher Christa McAuliffe to space.
As I ate my lunch my excitement grew. Then, suddenly, 73 seconds into departure the unthinkable happened. I watched as the Shuttle Challenger exploded and fell back to Earth. My excitement turned to shock, fear, tears. I felt like I had lost someone on that shuttle that day.
That’s when I realized that being Shuttle Commander wasn’t just a fun, cool job it was a huge responsibility and could be dangerous. I still wanted to work for NASA but maybe in other position as the years passed.
Eventually I started to come to the realization that I just wasn’t Air Force or NASA material. I stink at math as you know and most everything related to it. Plus, I really wanted to be a mom and a stay at home mom at that. I would feel guilty I thought if Nana and Papaw spent all that money helping me through school and then I didn’t use what I had learned.
I didn’t realize that I would have received money for my schooling, but by the time I found out, I didn’t want to go to far from home either.
As my senior year of high school wore on I needed to declare a major for college. As much as I wanted a corner office, suits and high heels, a fancy desk and a couch for my clients, I knew counseling wasn’t what I really wanted to do. Miss Omega, my piano teacher, looked at me one day and asked,
“Michelle, what do you enjoy doing the most?”
“Teaching kids piano and playing piano and singing.” I replied.
I got it. I knew I should be a music teacher. I could be a mom, have the same schedule as my own kids and do what I loved the most. I went to college and majored in music education. I taught music for seven years before I became a stay at home mom for six years. I loved teaching piano to my students, many of whom were in our wedding. One day I will teach piano again, when you all aren't in so many activities or can drive yourselves. Even if I don't go back to teaching full-time, I can sub and still do what I love.
I know my childhood dream isn't as extravagant as yours, being a missionary, veterinarian, going to the Air Guard like your daddy or being a monkey handler are all great things to strive for. Know that no matter what you decide to do, where God leads you, your Daddy and I will be there for you. Nana and Papaw were for me and I've never felt guilty for being a stay at home mom.
On a side note to my readers. As I've written these posts, I've realized some should be combined, like this one, a few are a little more personal than I want to share online and a couple need pictures which are at my parents house. Look for the highlighted links to stories that have been posted and come back in a few days for some more.