I want to be a firetruck! — Let’s Blog Off

Every other week, a bunch of bloggers from different backgrounds all give their take on the same topic.  This time around it is “What did you want to be when you grew up?”

When you ask a child what they want to be when they grow up, you can get a bunch of different (sometimes hilarious) responses.  Their brains haven’t developed the filter that tells them they can’t do or be something.  Often, their responses will be related to what they happened to be doing at the time the question was asked.  You get the typical policeman, teacher, astronaut, athlete.  The best one I’ve ever heard was “I want to be a firetruck!” And it was said with enthusiasm.

A while back, I came across a project I had done back in third or fourth grade about this exact topic.  We were instructed to draw out our life plan.  What I wanted to be at the time was a baseball player.  Not just any baseball player, I wanted to play for the New York Yankees.  If I remember correctly, I even included the contract details.

Interesting sidenote:  I even stipulated the rationale for the contract I would get.  I didn’t need to be the highest paid player, just what I was worth.  Apparently, I was well versed in the concept of greed at a young age.

A year or two later, my family moved and I stopped playing baseball.  This was at the same time as the last MLB player’s strike.  They brought in replacement players and cancelled the World Series.  I was done with baseball for many years.  I tried again for a season in high school and the game had passed my by.  A couple years later, my Minnesota Twins were nearly contracted out of existence and my love of baseball resurfaced.  I started a petition to express the outrage I was feeling at the possibility of my team going away.  I managed to get several hundred people to sign it but my efforts were limited.  I had no real resources and I lived five hours from Minneapolis.  A month or two after I created that petition, a much more organized (and better funded) group led by Paul Ridgeway really gained some momentum.  My team was saved and returned to respectability shortly thereafter.

These days, I get my allotment of infield dust by playing on and managing my church’s softball team.  I’ve been playing softball for over a decade now and every spring I get that itch to get back on the field.

I never made it to the big leagues, but I think I’m more satisfied playing softball at the local park than I would have been living the life of a major leaguer.  The things I didn’t know…



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About Raun Lauterbach

Optimistic realist, life enthusiast, outdoor cook, Midwest traveler, husband, father... Follow me: Twitter | Facebook | Get updates in your email
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  • http://bluecollarliving.com James Dibben

    I never did get a chance to play any baseball growing up. I think I would have enjoyed it.

  • http://www.cft411.com Joe Freenor

    Growing up we played a lot of sandlot softball.  We were all very poor, and all we could afford was a softball, and since no one had mitts, we liked it better after it had had the bejabbers slapped out of it because it made it easier to catch with bare hands.  We never had anywhere near enough players to play actual teams, so we tended to play workup:  two batters, pitcher, two outfielders/every other position.  You could stay at bat for as long as you could hit it deep enough to score or be scored by the guy who would bat behind you.  When you went out, it was to one of the outfielders, then back up to pitcher.  Actually, pitcher was more of “lob the ball up there nice and fat and sassy.”  We did try to play Little League Ball one year, but we only played two games and quit because we knew we weren’t worth a damn.  We could have a lot of fun playing in a vacant lot where first base was a piece of cardboard, and second and third were whatever we could find that wouldn’t get kicked out of position.

  • http://twitter.com/modicana Pat Eggleton

    I love that – “I want to be a firetruck!”

  • P Anater

    Garth Brooks once recorded a song that included the line, “Some time I thank God for unanswered prayers.” I do that a lot too.

  • http://twitter.com/SamBagwell Sam Bagwell

    Raun, I like the fact that you are managing your church’s softball team. Dreams should have a tangible part to them.

  • http://twitter.com/builderforlife Marcus Taylor

    Raun I loved this post except for your slight disdain for Astronaut dreams! Thanks for sharing. marcus

  • Scott Sliver

    I share many of your sentiments! I found a book “My book about me.” A fill in the blanks with drawings, etc book from when I was FIVE! I answered the question, “What is your favorite song? with “All Creatures of Our God and King.” Now I’m a pastor… haha! Love that you wanted to be a firetruck! That’s very cute and awesome!

  • Jo-Anne Peck

    I hope the part about you getting paid what you’re worth came true.

  • http://www.backyardlifeblog.com Raun Lauterbach

    Not yet, but I hope I’m moving in that direction.  Either that or I’m not worth that much.  :)

  • http://www.backyardlifeblog.com Raun Lauterbach

    Sometimes people know what they’re going to be before they know what they’re going to be.  Sounds like you are where you’re supposed to be.

  • http://www.backyardlifeblog.com Raun Lauterbach

    No issue with astronauts.  Just a common profession that kids wanted to be when I was growing up.

  • http://www.backyardlifeblog.com Raun Lauterbach

    It’s fun and I get to interact with people that I probably wouldn’t otherwise.  I get to try to have an impact on a lot of younger guys — some who really haven’t had a childhood of dreams.

  • http://www.backyardlifeblog.com Raun Lauterbach

    That’s a great song.  There have been many hinge moments in my life that took me directions that I didn’t want to go but ended up being where I needed to go.

  • http://www.backyardlifeblog.com Raun Lauterbach

    Kids say the darndest things!

  • http://www.backyardlifeblog.com Raun Lauterbach

    I played a lot of ball with neighborhood kids in much the same manner you described.  Sometimes we were lucky enough to get close to full teams, but usually not.  This summer, while playing church softball, I ended up playing against 2 brothers that I played baseball with as a kid.  I hadn’t seen them in 18 years.

  • http://www.backyardlifeblog.com Raun Lauterbach

    I have some stories about playing basketball too.  Here’s a quick one… Living in Minnesota, as a 6th grader, I had played guard for a couple of years.  Then I moved to Wisconsin and became a center — because of my height.  I was taller than just about everyone.  It was kind of like moving to Munchkinland.  I’ll have to see if I can dig out my team picture for that year.  I’m kneeling in the front row and someone is standing behind me and you can just see his head.  I looked like a giant.  :)