Monday, December 21, 2015

8 years old — the perfect age?

When I was 10 or 12, I arrived at the conclusion that 8 was the ideal age. It was the best of times, and I was already past it. My conclusion was drawn from the increased responsibilities that came after age 8. I had more chores at home, things like feeding the dog and weeding the garden, which left me less time to play and lie around. School was also harder. I discovered long division and didn't like it. When I was 8, my math tasks were limited to simple addition and subtraction and maybe some "times tables." Long division made life a lot tougher.

Now I realize that three of my grandsons are age 8. The three of them were born within four months of each other in 2007, prompting me to jokingly refer to them as "the 2007 crop." Now my grandsons are at the age that I thought the perfect age, a mix of limited responsibilities and necessary capabilities. I could count money, read, do simple arithmetic and amuse myself all day long with my active imagination.

Beyond the irony of seeing grandsons living the life that I had thought to be the very best of times (although times have certainly changed), I wonder if I should tell my 8-year-old grandsons that they are living the best year of their lives. Should they know that it will never get any better than this?

I probably shouldn't tell them. I wouldn't want them to think they were in for a lifetime of disappointment and a longing for the good old days when they were 8 and carefree.

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