Saturday, February 27, 2010


Children are smarter than adults.
How many children do you know with a full-time job and children?
Rachel wants to own as many dogs as they had in Hotel for Dogs.  And she wants to own a hotel for dogs and their owners.  And she's requested that we move to Canada so that we'll be closer to the Royal British Columbia Museum so we can go there all the time.

And that was just today's list.

I listen to her plans, her dreams and part of me cynically says "Good luck with that, kid."  And a small voice in my head says "Talk about all the dog food.  And the dog poop!"   Sometimes we will talk through an idea with her, but never in a way to shoot down her dream.  Almost always, instead of saying something cynical, I either sit in silence, envious of her plans, or I ask her to explain them to me in more detail, because sometimes they are just fascinating.  (Most of them aren't based on movies she's seen.)

How does she do it?  At age five, logic has not fulled forms, she has no concept of the cost of things, and most importantly, compromise is a word she hardly understands at all.  To be sure, there are times when she doesn't get her way, but in terms of the big dreams, the big future, everything is possible.  The sky is the limit, and if she can dream it, someday it will happen.  In her world, tomorrow might be her birthday.  Even when shown the calendar, it still might be tomorrow.  "You never know," she says cheerfully, rearranging her stuffed animals.  Nevermind that she's sitting on the brand new bunk beds she actually helped assemble.  Tomorrow could be magical, fun, be filled with relatives and brand new toys.  You never know.

And yet, as adults, we know.  I'll never travel in space, never become an architect, probably not even design and build my own home.  I'll probably never start my own business, become incredibly wealthy through wise stock purchases or even own a Delorean.  I won't adopt an infant of another race each time a child of my own is born.  I probably won't ever be a regular at an Irish put in Ireland in my old age.  Tomorrow will not be a birthday.  (Or, as I always hoped in high school, a military helicopter carrying an exotic sports car wasn't about to be dropped in front of me as I was summoned to some important mission.  Shut up, this was pre-Cody Banks.)

As we grow older, the choices we make have create a more narrow set of choices for our future.  I don't mean to be pessimistic, or even discount that some of my future choices may be limited by my own fear (like starting my own business).  And in some cases, I have willingly embraced limitations in search of a greater good, like being led here to Washington where we're able to live in one income without giving up too much, but without living at the same level we had allowed ourselves to be accustomed to.  But I'm just saying that's what separates us from our youth.  And it's not like we can explain that to them, in the hopes of helping them when it comes time to make defining choices because it would be illogical to them, or it would unfairly yank them to the other side of the fence.

I'm still hoping for the Delorean.  But even then, I'd compromise with a Tesla or a Fisker.