The Golden Age of Childhood
In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Golden Age.”
Given a choice of one stage of my lifetime to last indefinitely, I would choose to be a child in the Golden Age of childhood— which I will define roughly as the period of elementary school, ages about five to eleven. These children are interested in almost everything, and are impressed with the enormity of the world around them, whether it is the majesty of the night sky or the or raindrops on a window pane.
Many, many years from age 10 a spider web or a pebble still can capture my attention. I still rescue silly moths that have fallen into the dog’s dish, floating with legs upward and gasping for their last wisp of air. Chatting with cats is a given for a child’s agenda. Inspecting closely a pattern of Jack Frost on the winter windows…like little schematic blueprints for a plan of a new neighborhood.
To a golden-child-ager, everything is new and exciting, worthy of attention and consideration. There is no such thing as boredom…there is always fascination in one’s own fingerprint, or the way of a flower’s construction.
This quality of wonder and discovery endures in a child until someone–who is older and immune to the wonder of the world around them–interjects a snide or snarky “so what?” which effectively deflates the buoyancy of the child’s ego.
This age of childhood provides ample food for thought, and there is a constant river of new and interesting things to experience and learn. If I were to exist entirely in one stage of life, my choice would be to be a child.
In contrast to the open-minded and ever expanding intellectual repertoire of a child, other choices would be existing as an adolescent, or as an adult. Neither niche appeals to me.
The adolescent is neither child nor adult, always stuck in between, either too young or to old, unable to fully understand the implications of life.
Then there is the plight of the adult–which in my view would mean a perpetual “damned if I do, damned if I don’t” state of uncertainty… the curse of the struggle to always know what is right or wrong, and bear responsibility for consequences of all actions.
The learning curve is still present in the adult stage, but with added burden of having to live with and build upon history–good and bad, with “THE BUCK STOPS HERE” placard always nagging in the background.