|57 is also a great age!|
But, then I think back to 50 years ago, when I was eight, and really, I think eight is THE BEST age. Can you remember being eight? You are kind of grown up then. I mean, you can ride a bike, pick your own friends, play outside without being under constant surveillance and generally can play all day long in the summer.
Well, kinda. I remember chores that needed to be done, but I was a pretty fast worker and my parents weren't too hard on me, so I was usually ready to play around 10:00 am. And I played hard. At eight, I was the neighborhood champion pogo-sticker. Yes, you read that right. I won the neighborhood competition and could even jump rope on a pogo-stick if the twirlers had the right pace.
Back in those days, the sixties, we were allowed to ride bikes about a mile to the local store to buy a dime's worth of candy. I can remember the feeling of my hair, which was pixie short, blowing in the wind and felt the freedom of being eight with a couple of nickles in my pocket. I remember playing in a vacant field for days on end with some neighbor kids. The little copse was Gilligan's Island and I, of course, was Mary Anne. We played and laughed and dug a huge hole that we were sure would reach to China.
My face would be beet red and I would have dirt in those creases under my neck and arms. I had freckles and that short pixie-cut hair that made me look like I was always up to something. And I was. I was growing up, learning to finding my own way. In short, I was eight.
There is something about being eight that is magic and I will never forget that feeling of being sort of grown up, but yet young enough not to have many responsibilities. It is a time that defines us as people. Will we be selfish, hard working, lazy, outgoing, introverted....? At eight we can be anything, do anything, and have the whole world in front of us. It is a magical time and even fifty years later I remember being eight.
I don't want to go back but I sure enjoy the memories.