Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Adulthood: An antidote to age discrimination :)

. . . of sorts.

When a child is very young, even a few months can make an enormous difference in his/her physical and social development.

For a school-age child, a difference of a few months can determine whether your kid is in the same grade as your friend’s kid, or whether he’ll spend his entire academic career one grade behind, as our son did.

One of the most surprising things for me, as I became as adult, was how much less age differences matter.

There’s a huge difference, in social terms, between a high-school senior and a college senior.

And yet, at my age, I can as easily have friends who are 15 years older or 15 years younger than I.

Or more.

Age differences become rather like, well, other kinds of differences.

As I was saying here, “Once, I was so distracted by a really cute guy that I had difficulty davvening (praying). I cured myself by talking to him at kiddush. Once he became a person with a name and something interesting to say, . . . I haven’t had that problem with him since.”

He hasn’t stopped being cute, and I still notice, but that’s not the only thing I notice about him anymore.

Something similar happened when I walked into that blogger bash the other day. My first reaction, upon meeting RaggedyMom, was, “Good heavens, she’s so young!” A few minutes and some good conversation later, her age became fairly irrelevant.

I think one of the advantages of being an adult is that we grown-ups have much broader latitude for friendships across the age range.


Blogger RaggedyMom said...

Shira - You're only as young as you feel - which at the end of a long day has me at about 84. LOL.

I think it's more of a look - When I was a public school teacher, I taught primarily in an elementary school that went up to fourth grade. High school was out of the question - the kids were huge, and I was always getting stopped by other teachers and asked for my hall pass!

When RaggedyDad met me, it was at a friend's house. He thought I was one of her younger, teenaged sisters - but still tried to talk me up! Turns out he's 5 months younger than I am, if you can believe it!

Thu May 17, 08:10:00 PM 2007  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

Yeah, after a long day with my son (in his younger days), and now, after a glorious day of working several hours overtime on a special project, I feel roughly 84, myself. :)

"I was always getting stopped by other teachers and asked for my hall pass!" That's not hard to believe. :)

" . . . he's 5 months younger than I am . . ." That *is* hard to believe! :)

When I was a college junior, I was once mistaken for a *high school* junior. I consoled myself with the thought that I, once I hit 40, I'd be happy to look younger than my age. And, indeed, since I hit 40 (and aged considerably beyond that), that's been the pretty much the case. :) Methinks that you, too, can look forward to enjoying years of being mistaken for someone much younger than your actual age, once you turn 40. :) Enjoy! :)

Thu May 17, 10:33:00 PM 2007  

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