The Perfect Age


People are strange; half of them wish to be older and the other half younger. I, personally, am always happy with my current age. But thirteen is an especially good age because my ability out weighs my responsibility.

I can do things I never could have done when I was two, four, six, or ten. I can reach glasses in the cabinet without climbing on the drawers below. I can survive a week at camp. I can use the computer unsupervised because there is no risk the I will ever again erase the hard disk. I can talk like a normal human being (when I want to); I now say, and I am incredibly proud of this, "breakfast" instead of "breskis"!

While I have greater abilities than a four year old, I do not yet have the responsibilities of an adult. There is a big, mean world out there, and I don't have to deal with it. I don't have to get a job or handle routine emergencies, such as hornets building a nest in the RV. I do not have to decide which of the Presidential candidates is the lesser of six evils. I do not have to drive through traffic which bears a disturbing resemblance to a video arcade game. And I do not have to decide what to do about fuzzy, green leftovers in the back of the fridge developing sentience.

In short, thirteen is a happy medium between childhood and adulthood. I am tall enough to reach the sink without having to call the plumber when it leaks.

Sarah Laughton, 1995