My basic question is: did boys grow up with aspirations akin to their modern counterparts e.g. did they view certain professions as particularly desirable at an early age such as a small boy proclaiming he wishes to become an astronaut? Specifically I am concerned with whether it is realistic to have a small boy dreaming of becoming a pirate, whether children would 'play pirates' in ways similar to modern children. Is it more likely to have dreamt of another profession at sea such as the navy or fisherman?
If they would not what justification could be placed on the aspiration to become a pirate? I have a character who was a pirate, and through a complicated series of events is basically reborn with his memories intact but inaccessible (for the moment) though they leaking through into his dreams and such.
Searches: various combinations of childhood aspirations in 1700s, childhood games in 1700s, pirates and children 1700s, but all I seem to get it information about games such as hoops, information on actually being a pirate, or completely irrelevant results.
ETA: Thanks guys, I'm gonna have him interpret his dreams / shift them into dreaming of fighting pirates instead of being one.