My granddaughter wants to be a trucker. I find this to be at once cute and also worrying.
She is, after all, only twelve, and she may still be young enough to have silly dreams with unrealistic ideas about different jobs. What did I want to be at twelve? I wish I could remember. Perhaps I still held out hope of being a superhero or a pirate. I don’t want to crush such dreams because, after all, she’s still a kid.
But is she? It’s been so long since I was twelve. And, unfortunately, I wasn’t particularly “there” when my son was at that age. I’ve been trying to make up for those mistakes by helping with my granddaughter, but one of the problems is that I lack that first go-round experience that might have made these situations easier to know how to respond.
My worry is that she is old enough to be thinking more clearly about her future life choices and that either this shows she’s falling behind in maturity compared to her peers or else, she actually wants to be a trucker.
I want to be clear that I don’t think there’s anything wrong with truckers, at least in theory. Stuff has to get transported, and as far as I can tell, they do a fairly good job moving that stuff around the country. The pay doesn’t seem to be too bad, and families can be raised on the income trucking provides. I don’t think a trucker is necessarily a worse person than anyone else in the world. Truckers are just people like everyone else. If I meet one in line at a store or at a bar, I don’t think worse of him.
But I don’t want my granddaughter to be one. Having searched my heart, I think I have three reasons for this, primarily at least. First, I want something better for her. She’s clever and charming, and I think she could go far in any career she chooses. She could be a doctor or a lawyer or run a corporation. She’s that smart. That may be the grandpa blinders I’ve got on, but I think it’s honestly true.
Second, she’s a girl, and while I’m all for a woman taking on any job a man does, I worry that the life of a trucker would be more dangerous for her. She’d be out all night, sleeping in rest stops, spending time perhaps around disreputable people.
Third, trucking is dangerous. There are lots of trucking accidents, and she’s more likely to get hurt doing that than working in an office in some fancy skyscraper.
Am I overthinking this? I just don’t know. Again, I didn’t get this part right the first time around. My son isn’t worried. He’s bought her some model trucks and even wants to take her to ride along with a trucker friend he has sometime over the next month.
But I’m still worried. I want her to have such a good life, and I just don’t know how to help her right now.