Wednesday, June 09, 2010

The Single Guy and the Garden of Children

On the Single Guy's day off, he went with some friends to a local school's kindergarten graduation celebratory event. Mostly, the Single Guy just sat there in an overcrowded, poorly ventilated auditorium and watched as four different classes of rising 1st-graders presented songs that they had learned to perform for their parents and friends. Maybe it's because he has yet to have children of his own, and perhaps it's due to the fact that only one of the roughly 80 performers meant anything to him, but he just didn't see what all of the fuss was about.

During one of the songs done by one of the classes (which did not contain the one student that the Single Guy was there to support), he noticed a great deal of laughter each time the kids got to a certain part of the chorus (which was repeated about two dozen times). The woman behind him, especially, thought that something was hilarious, as indicated by her obnoxiously loud guffaws as the chorus repeated itself. The only thing he can figure is that he was watching the wrong kid. Maybe the people in front of him were blocking his view of the little comedian, but the Single Guy just didn't get it.

But something else happened during the graduation that got the Single Guy thinking. Each individual from each class was introduced to the audience. With each name, the spectators were told what he or she wanted to be when they grow up. There were a great deal of future fire fighters, police officers, and various sports/entertainment stars. There were a few teachers, two dentists, a ballerina, and a handful of princesses. The Single Guy couldn't help but wonder, what will these kids really be doing with their lives 20 years from now?

He wondered if there have been studies that compare the dreams of a five or six-year-old with the realities of a 25-year-old. Of course children don't think about things like money when they choose their dream careers. Really, they have no concept of what proper compensation should be. There's a good chance that when those future fire fighters grow up and understand that those heroes are sadly underpaid, they may go down a different path. But he still couldn't help but wonder how many of these kids would go on to fulfill their dreams to become the thing they wanted to be back when they were leaving kindergarten.

The Single Guy never wanted to grow up to work in a bank. At this point, he couldn't even remember what sort of dreams he had as a 6-year-old leaving the relative comfort of kindergarten for the big scary world of the 1st grade. He takes comfort, however, in the fact that he still doesn't completely feel like a grown up. Maybe there's still time to achieve some of those childlike dreams before he actually grows up.

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