Monday, August 31, 2015

Child's Bucket List?

For the 2nd time in a week, I have heard about my neighbors' kids having "bucket lists", to go someplace during the summer, or to run a lemonade stand before going back to school, or whatever.  And I'm sorry...  I don't get it.  A "bucket list", as I've always known it, is something you write up during A LIFETIME, that you then accomplish Before you die.  Things you want to get done on this mortal coil before leaving it, named after "kick the bucket".

I do not understand how a 5 year old boy, or an 8 year old boy, can or should have a "bucket list", or even be aware of what a bucket list is / might be.  These kids are Not on the "Make A Wish" Foundation's radar.  They're normal healthy kids.  Do elementary and pre-schoolers know what a living will is?  A DNR?  (and not the "Department of Natural Resources") Do they have any concept of Medicare?  Social Security? Osteoarthritis? Atherosclerosis? A colostomy? (if none of their older relatives have one) A PSA test result? Hypertension? Saving for retirement?  No.  Five and 8 year old's long term memory is not much better than the average puppy who thinks that 5 minutes after it's owner leaves the house, that she's NEVER coming back again (so begin howling, or chew through a wall, or a couch, or < insert coping mechanism here > )... unless their middle name is Wolfgang and their last name is Mozart.  So if an elementary school aged child doesn't understand the good along with the bad, the pain it takes to achieve the rest & relaxation later, why fill their little heads with the notion of "a bucket list"?

To me, it is just wrong.  Wrong intended, wrongly emphasized, misplaced and premature.  That which is gained easily (or inherited, or lottery winnings), is not usually appreciated.  That which is gained through hard work, effort, focus & determination, is much more appreciated, highly valued, and usually not squandered.  Save the "bucket list" for those who are approaching their sunset years, and have worked the majority of their lives to be able to afford to indulge in such a list.  A 5 or 8 year old has no such sense of sustained endurance, decades of delayed gratification, and long term achievement, unless that 5 or 8 year old has a TARDIS, can repair their own telomeres, and has chosen to remain an age where they can't drive, vote, rent a car, see a R rated movie, or have a mature conversation with their peers.  Wait another 60 or 70 years to begin to check items off your "bucket list", kids.


  1. I think bucket lists even for adults are stupid. For children who are not terminally ill that is an egregious abuse of the term.
    "I'm taking Biff Jr. to Dairy Queen, it's on his summer bucket list!"
    "Gosh that's neat. Hey, little Biff, do you know what a bucket list is really supposed to be? It's supposed to be a list ot things you want to do before you die. I sure hope you don't die soon. Are you going to die soon? After you go to Dairy Queen I guess you'll be ok with dying tonight. Have fun!"

  2. Thank you. I am glad I am not the only one who was put off by this concept. = )


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