Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Dual Aspirations

Martin Luther King, Jr. had a remarkable dream. So the week of the 21st, in synchronized acknowledgment of the importance of his hopes, the kindergarten contingent of Darren and Sarah's school encouraged fostering thoughts of the future....in the form of a "Dress as What You'd Like to Be" day.

As is the way with 6-year-olds, their choices were very "in the moment." (Read: Both have already declared that neither of them wants to be what they dressed as last week.) Fully aware that these wardrobe selections would be fleeting, we made a run to the Dollar Store for accessories to our existing wardrobe.

Sarah's "Gardener" ensemble was comprised of her beloved overalls (they were without a doubt the real motivator behind her "career" choice that day) with five packets of seeds in the chest pocket, black gloves, a head-protecting/accent color-adding (a fashion aspect not lost on Sarah) bandana and silk sunflowers.

Darren's "Spy" gear included a cell phone earpiece, a clip-on cell case, a notepad, pocket flashlight, ski cap and sunglasses reminsicent of former wrestling star, Lex Lugar. Perhaps the piece de resistance was a hand-sieve "magnifying glass." (Why is it that we as adults seem to have lost ease with transformative imagination? God bless kids.)

How excited they were as we left the house! (Admittedly, I was pretty energized, too.)
Did the memories ever come flooding back as we walked into the school that morning. Darren's eyes rapidly -- and somewhat anxiously -- scanned his schoolmates to see who -- if anyone -- had actually elected (or cared) to participate as enthusiastically as he had. Sarah, always happy to be "on display," flitted about swinging her flowers and extracting her seeds for anyone and everyone who gave her a second glance.

As we sat in the cafeteria awaiting the bell calling them to class (FYI: rarely are we there that early -- they were fired up about their outfits of the future!), a couple of Darren's classmates came by...asking "What are you?" He responded accordingly, and they were duly impressed.

Of course sadly, I could see in their eyes the disappointment -- somehow they had missed an opportunity for fun -- somehow they didn't (not through fault of their own I might add, they are six) do what they were "supposed to."

Always trying to save the situation from becoming fully heartwrenching for the day, I asked Young Boy A, "So what do you want to be when you get bigger?" His response: "A soldier." Amazingly (or perhaps divinely), he was wearing an olive shirt with khaki pants. It was easy to not only reinforce the value of his goals, but to offer some adult "back-up" of what he was conveniently wearing. Boy B, normally quite the instigator in the classroom and a frequent visitor to the Principal's office, was shockingly silent. His shirt was enblazoned with a metallic, almost actual-size turntable. Me, "Boy B! I did not know you wanted to be a DJ!" A half-hearted smile crossed his face, and a "Yeah, I guess so."

Not that I want to get on a political angle here, but truly, I don't know that money for education (other than for paying teachers more adequately who deal with and confront this kind of heartbreak on a daily basis) is the answer. Time. Lots of time. That is what will help.

1 comment:

Surcie said...

Their costumes are darling!!

BTW, we did go to Trader Vic's and thought it was awesome. I definitely need to go back for a mai tai!