Little lady, big plans

Move over, everyone: the Maiden has plans. Make that Plans. Or even, PLANS.

I don’t mean what she’s going to be when she grows up. Basically, that’s a laundry list of anything she is currently interested in and/or has been interested in over the past few years. Right now, she’s got her sights set on being a brain surgeon, a paleontologist, an archaeologist, a ballerina, a tap dancer, a gymnast, a soccer player, an artist, an Air Force Lady, a writer, a mommy, and a string of about five other things that change weekly.

I hope she’s paying for her own education.

These long-term plans, however, pale in comparison to the Amazing Things She’s Going to Do When She’s 17. Seventeen, in case you weren’t aware, is the point at which life begins to get Seriously Awesome.

When I was 17, I was kind of doing what I’m doing now–writing and editing–except not getting paid. Plus studying and trying to stay awake during ace chemistry. Worse, I wasn’t the boss of the house yet. Being a teenager was kind of a raw deal.

But there will be no laboratory drudgery for the 17-year-old Maiden.

First, she and her BFF have a long-standing (a year is a long time when you’re five, after all) pact to visit Mars when they hit that hallowed age. I didn’t tell her that the trip would take so long that she wouldn’t get there til she was close to 18–and wouldn’t return here until she was on her way to 19. Actually, does that mean we could skip two or three of the teen years? And how much trouble could she really get into on a big ball of red rock? Maybe I’d better push this Martian travel thing a little more.

Forays into geography and science have further broadened the Maiden’s horizons. When she’s 17, she’s also going to buy a van and drive to Africa (taking a ferry over the ocean, natch). I’m not sure how this is going to work with the space travel, but maybe the Africa trip will coincide with the three months during which she’s 17 and her BFF’s still 16.

You totally can’t go to space when you’re only 16.

Anyways, in Africa she’ll go on safari and photograph the animals. Then she’ll head toward Asia and start digging for dinosaur bones. People bones, too–we told her about Pompeii and that started her on a new archaeology kick–but her real goal is to discover a whole Tyrannosaurus Rex head.

Not the skin, silly Mommy–just the bones! The fossils!

Oh, right. I knew that.

When she finally gets home, T-Rex head in tow, we will need to make room for the newest member of our family. Rex-Head will become a fixture in the Maiden’s playroom, which is a good thing, since I don’t like dead dinosaurs leering at me while I’m trying to cook dinner. Of course, the Maiden’s aware that to make room for him she’ll have to get rid of some of her books and toys–and her dress-up stuff. She’s a little sad about that. But the fact that the dress-up closet can become the “bone closet” cheers her up significantly.

Oh, the skeletons we keep hidden.

Once the bones are safely closeted, well, I guess she’s off to Mars.

While her dad and I stay home–and dust that #!#&@ T-Rex skeleton while we wait three years for her return.


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