Every morning, I take the bus to university. During one of my routine bus rides, I watched as a mother with two young children in tow got onto the bus and asked what the total fare for her kids were.
“How old are they?” the driver asked.
Patting the palm of her hands lightly on each of the children in turn, she said “This girl here is three and this boy is four.”
“Alright that would be a total of…for all three of you….”
Suddenly the driver was interrupted.
Tugging at the lady’s left hand vigorously and looking up frowning, the little boy shouted, “Noooooo!! Mommy….I am five! FIVE….!!” He appeared to be really upset.
“Oh sorry, this one’s five,” the lady corrected.
“Five? But you just said he’s only four!” the driver laughed, teasing the lady.
“Yes I know, it’s terrible!” she answered rolling her eyes and turned to the boy and said “Sorry, honey!”
Everyone chuckled as the lady paid and took a seat with her kids.
I smiled at the encounter and thought, why is it that children get upset when you think they are younger than their actual age while adults (especially ladies) get offended vice versa? Some even dodge the age question like it’s taboo. Why is it that kids can’t wait to grow up and when they finally do, they wish they wouldn’t have to?
When I was a kid, I can’t wait to be a working adult because from what I observed, working adults don’t have homework and exams. When I was in high school, I can’t wait to go to university because then I don’t have to wear school uniform. When I was in university, I can’t wait to start working and earn my own living. When I finally graduated and got a job, I wish I could go back to being a student. When I started graduate school, I was happy about student life for a while but now I can’t wait to finish and get it over with.
But most of all, I wish I never had to grow up in the first place and be five and carefree forever. I guess the grass is indeed always greener on the other side. To that little boy on the bus, you don’t know what you are going to be missing!