I was babysitting a Lance’s 9-year-old little sister and her 8-year-old friend this evening and I asked them what age they would choose to be if they could be anyage.
The sister replied: “I want to be 3”. Her justification was that if she was any younger, she wouldn’t be able to walk and talk properly, but if she was any older then there would be school and homework, and that would prevent her from doing only the things that she wants to do, and she wanted to be able to do what she wants to do “all the time”.
Her friend also said she wanted to be 3, but then changed her mind and said she wanted to be 23 instead. When I asked her why, she told me that if she was 23, she could “leave the house” by herself.
I remember that when I was little, being 21 was the golden age. It was the golden age of being big and free, because gone are the days of needing to get someone else’s consent to do anything.
I made a crucial mistake of equating self-autonomy with freedom, and herein lies the problem – both girls think that they want to be a certain age because it will give them the most freedom. For one, it’s the freedom of time and being able to play all day. For the other, it’s the freedom of being able to do the things that she currently is unable to do.
Although being “big” certainly has its (many) advantages, I sometimes really wouldn’t mind being a child again with my only dream being to play all day, every day.