Childhood Memories Friday: Passion

What were you passionate about as a child? I remember my mom spending a lot of time on family history when I was little. She had stacks of those purple mimeographed family trees which she would fill out with names and dates. I recall hours spent at the library while she read microfilm and microfiche records, searching through census information in search of a treasure.

Her relatives were from Germany (Osnabruck, to be exact), and even when I was little I had such a desire to go to Germany. I told mom that when I grew up we would go there. She would always say that she wouldn’t go because she was afraid to fly. I would then suggest that we would go on a boat.

She would return to her records, and I would dream about actually setting foot in Germany. It would be a fairy tale land!

As I got older, I studied German in high school and continued to dream of visiting. What a thrill it was in 1983 to finally make the trip to Germany (and 5 other countries) with a band.

Speaking of band:  I grew up in a small town (are you hearing the John Mellencamp song? He grew up in the same small town), and while it seemed perfectly adequate at the time, living in a larger place now I can see many things it lacked.

Some of the town’s cultural elites decided we needed a bit of sophistication, so they started a Community Concerts Association, wherein cultural groups would be brought in to perform.

One such performance was by a symphony, when I was a teen. I remember sitting in the high school auditorium, transfixed. The beauty of the music! All those violinists bowing in unison! The emotional highs! Ah, it was lovely – lovely.

On the way home, my mom said something to the effect of, “Well, that was nice, but I spent most of the time looking at the program to see how many pieces were left before it ended.” I could not imagine not loving the whole thing … another source of passion was emerging.

I always hoped that a job-related passion would emerge, but it never did. I’m envious of those who get to go to a job they’re truly passionate about each day. I hope my girls can find that!

Also, as a mom it’s fun to see passions emerging in my kids. One daughter is so passionate about animals. It is wonderful to see her enthusiasm about something and to recall my own youthful flights of fantasy.

What were you passionate about as a child? Are you still so excited about those things?


Memory is a way of holding onto the things you love, the things you are, the things you never want to lose.

~From the television show The Wonder Years

5 thoughts on “Childhood Memories Friday: Passion

  1. What percent of people are truly passionate about their jobs? I would guess very few. I recall the late Paul Harvey saying he would do his job if he had to pay people to let him. I am still searching for that type job…

  2. As a child I always had the desire to travel and see the world, much like my father. He had gone to the Chicago World’s Fair when he was a young man, which was a pretty big deal in those days. When I was 10 my family went on a 30-day trip to CA, camping all of the way. Then we visited and stayed with relatives while there at Whittier, Bakersfield, and San Francisco.
    We visited many of the National Parks on the way out and way back, taking the Southern route out and the Northern route back. Since my father suddenly died of a heart attack at age 36 when I was only 11, this fabulous trip became even more meaningful for the rest of my life. My father trusted me to read the road maps and help with directions all of the way, which made me feel pretty important. I also got to throw snowballs on my birthday in Colorado – July 8th!
    And, I still have a picture to prove that, too.

    A quarter of a century later when I was 35, my own family of 4 made a very similar trip out West all of the way to California, only we “camped” in Holiday Inns mostly. That style of camping is much more to my liking. We were gone for 31 days, traveling a total of 10,439 miles (Yep! I still remember the figure and I still have the map of our route buried somewhere in my basement). It was a wonderful trip and great to repeat so much of my youthful trip.

    Like Susan I also dreamed of visiting the countries of my European ancestors, which included Germany, Ireland, and Switzerland. In 3rd grade we had the most wonderful geography book showing full page colored pictures of the Swiss Alps, etc. Now, at age 70, I have traveled to most of these places, but I have not made it to Switzerland and Austria yet. They are still on my wish list!

    Besides a passion for travel and knowledge, I actually DID have one of those careers that I adored (at least most of the time) for 34 years. I am a retired elementary teacher, and I feel very blessed to have a job that I truly liked! Upon retirement I taught piano lessons for another 10 years, which was also enjoyable for the most part. I believe that teaching was my true calling and I praise God for that.

  3. I was passionate about classical music and jazz thanks to our excellent band director. I loved going to special concerts at Ball State. I collected all kinds of records of great music. I drove my family insane with my nerdiness I think!! Although my parents always said they preferred my blasting stero to my brothers Jimmy Hendrix!!!

  4. In elementary school I was passionate about roller skating and that continued on into high school. Have to say, I still love it. The other thing I was passionate about was the Bible and finally in college I gave my life to the Lord. Still passionate about it. I was also passionate about seeing national parks in the U.S. I remember sitting on a big green sofa at my grandparents house looking in a View Master at pictures of Yellowstone National Park. I was 5 years old and decided then that I was going to go there someday. Then I saved up box tops from cereal cartons and got myself a map book of the U.S. In there I saw a picture of White Sands National Monument and told myself I was going to go there too. When we lived in San Diego, CA I stood on Coronado Island taking the the beauty of the old historic hotel the Del. I told myself I was going to stay there someday. Well, all 3 of those passionate desires came true with my faithful husband by my side. One last passion remains, to see Glacier National Park in Montana.

  5. I’m pretty passionate about my work, but that doesn’t always translate into excitement when I awaken having not slept well during the night, and aching all over, etc. But once I get to work, and certainly once I start talking about it, I get very fired up. How many people get to do something everyday that has ETERNAL significance? Helping to facilitate translating God’s Word is about as good as it gets.

    Words have always interested me. I recall walking into our public library as a child and experiencing an overwhelming feeling of discouragement knowing I would never be able to read all those books, and wanting to so much. How could I have known then that someday I would work with words on a daily basis? Not just any words–but the precious Word of God. What a privilege! Do I sound passionate? I should, because I am.

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