“I’ll go you one further, and this is the routine that has virtually ended my career in America. If you have children here tonight—and I assume some of you do—I am sorry to tell you this. They are not special. I’ll let that sink in. Don’t get me wrong, folks. I know you think they’re special. You think that. I’m telling you—they’re not.” (The late, great Bill Hicks. The cleanest part of his routine, “Your Children Aren’t Special.”)
Contrary to what some of my friends and colleagues may think, I do not dislike children. Quite the opposite. I generally love kids, and the kids I don’t love, I generally ignore.
Which brings me to the kid next door. I’m missing his graduation party because this work thing gets in the way. Too bad. His parents throw a good party.
Anyway, this kid is graduating from Loomis-Chaffee, and going to Colby in the fall. He is a child of a couple who worked very hard to afford him many of the privileges life can offer, including travel and a nice car. He has a sport and the attending equipment for all seasons. He is a handsome lad with a killer smile. It all adds up to someone who might be easy to despise.
Obviously, this is not one of those “up by the bootstraps” stories, but it’s almost as good. This is one of those “he really appreciates what he has, and makes the most of what he’s offered” stories.
From what I have observed over the past 7 years, this kid really gets it. He has everything he needs and possibly everything he wants, but he doesn’t seem the least bit spoiled.
I have seen him extend kindnesses to others, most especially younger kids. He is unfailingly polite to his elders.
Is this special? If it is, it shouldn’t be. It should be normal.
Good luck, Matthew.