Lauren: Mom, do you need a Master’s degree to work at an aquarium?

Me: Well, no. Not to work there, but to be a marine biologist, you probably do. I don’t know. Why?

Lauren: Well, are you and Dad going to pay for a master’s degree?

Me: Well…I mean, I don’t know. I….I mean…that’s a long way off, Lauren.

Lauren: Mom, I kinda need to know now so I can plan ahead and start saving my money because I have plan.

Me: You have a plan?

Lauren: Yeah, me and Brynn are going to go to Penn State, then we’re going to go work at the Tennessee Aquarium for a few years to get some experience and then we’re going to open our own aquarium.

Me: Uh…OK.

The next day she came home with these — actual plans for their future aquarium, including plush offices for Lauren and Brynn: careers1 careers2 careers3

Three days later:

Lauren: Mom, I don’t know what to do. I’m kinda upset. The whole aquarium thing is falling apart because now Brynn isn’t sure she wants to do it.  So, I may just have to do it myself. *sigh*

Me: Well, if anyone can, I’m sure you can.

Lauren: But, seriously, are you and Dad paying for Master’s school, or what?

Me: Can we talk about this in 10 years?

Lauren: That’s wwwaaaaay too late, Mom.