What I Want To Be When I Grow Up
● By Digital Media Director
As parents, we get to witness their aspirations from a very young age and see where the path takes them. Part of being a parent is helping shape our children’s futures and helping them seek out the world in front of them.
We recently caught up with some local kids who are dreaming of everything from teaching children to serving up some fun!
Kaitlyn G., 6 (Teacher)
Kaitlyn G. is six-years-old and lives in Sioux Falls with her parents and two older brothers Noah and Caleb. When we caught up with her on her last day of kindergarten at Discovery Elementary School in Sioux Falls, she was working alongside her teacher, something her mom, Nicole, says started long before elementary school.
“Her grandma was a teacher and she’s retired now, said Nicole. “They used to always play school.”
Playing school all her life made the transition to kindergarten pretty easy for Kaitlyn. While she used to look up to her grandma, she’s now added to her list of inspirations.
“I want to be a teacher because Mrs. Thurman is awesome,” said Kaitlyn. “Teachers rock, I think being a teacher would be fun!”
And when she’s away for the weekend, or on summer break, the teaching continues.
“Sometimes she likes me to be the teacher when we’re playing,” said Nicole. “It’s fun for me that she’s so into it. She thinks about it all the time. We plan everyday when she wants to play school.”
And her favorite part of the school day? It sounds pretty similar to what her teacher might say.
“I like to pick helpers and when the kids are all good,” said Kaitlyn.
While Kaitlyn currently lives out her dream of teaching through learning, her mom sees the bigger picture.
“It makes me proud,” said Nicole. “She loves to teach other kids.”
Aaron M., 3 (Veterinarian)
When we recently caught up with Aaron at All City Pet Care West, he couldn’t contain his excitement seeing all the animals coming in for their checkups!
“I want to help animals,” said Aaron. “I have two puppies at home! Riley and Bailey.”
Aaron’s mom, Jessica, said she knew the moment he was able to pick out his first Halloween costume that he would have a love for animals.
“He’s always so excited to see any animals,” said Jessica. “He’s excited to see the elephants at the zoo. Every time someone walks by with just a dog we have to stop and say hello.”
Sounds pretty typical for a three-year-old, but for Aaron, he’s already developed a passion at his young age.
“I want to be a vet to see all the animals,” said Aaron. “To see them and help them to feel better.”
For now, Aaron’s parents keep him busy playing with his pets at home and visiting the zoo and their family farm any chance they get.
“We go to the zoo a lot, we did the zoo camp and he went behind the scenes,” said Jessica. “We have family who are farmers, so we see animals a lot.”
When we asked Aaron what he liked about animals, here’s what he had to say:
“They’re so soft, cuddly and cute!”
When it comes to one day caring for them, he says he has one goal in mind.
“Helping animals feel better and petting puppies and kitties,” said Aaron.
Parker P., 8 and Jameson P., 6 (Own a Pizza Ranch)
Parker and Jameson are no strangers to Pizza Ranch. Their dad, Preston, has worked in various restaurants across the state since high school. Preston is part owner of the Pizza Ranch in Brandon.
“All 3 kids have had lifelong exposure to the legendary life of Pizza Ranch,” said mom, Teresa. “It might be a family outing to eat, swinging through to surprise dad, or hanging out in a booth while dad finishes up an impromptu visit. The kids swoon over some staff members and it's really become a second home and second family that everyone loves and it is unique to them.”
It seems natural that they’d want to grow up to be just like dad.
"I want to work with my dad and make pizzas," said Jameson.
“I want to be just like my dad,” said Parker.
Being just like dad means understanding the demands of the job, which Preston and Teresa are continuously working on as a family. It means instilling hard work ethics at an early age and making sure little sister Norah isn’t left out.
“With Preston’s long hours and my full time job, it’s necessary the kids help out at home,” said Teresa. “We have goal systems setup. Chores and helpful tasks earn screen time and playtime with friends. During the school year, good homework habits earn points for a potential toy or game.”
Knowing the hard work that goes into running a restaurant is teaching kids that the job is more than making pizzas, even though they say that’s the best part!
"I want to make the pizzas because it is fun to add toppings," said Parker.
"I like to prep pizzas with toppings," said Jameson.
For mom and dad, they’re happy to know their children might follow in dad’s footsteps, and they’ll do so knowing the hard work and dedication it takes.“We are proud that they feel so strongly about Pizza Ranch in the same way we do,” said Teresa. “Restaurant life isn't for the faint of heart so we take special time to explain why dad isn't home in the evenings or weekends or even holidays. They've been brought up in it so they get it. They also see the rewards from being in the business and of course dad is their hero!”