There are times when children dream about being grown-up. Most of the time they are content with being kids. That's their lot and they are programmed, mercifully, to live in the present and let their thoughts about far away tomorrows come and go. The thoughts aren't trivial; they dwell on milestones on the way to being "grown-up," the day they become twenty-one. Beyond that, kids spy those who are thirty, or forty, as old.

Life's full of contradictions. Girls always want to be older or act older or say they're older and when they become older they protest and say they're younger and, in many cases will refuse to give their age at all.

A lot of boys can't wait until they are out of school (they say) and not long after they're out of school they realize that it was a lot easier and wished they were back in school.

What comes first in early passages? Do we cross the street alone, no longer having to hold mommy's hand? Or, do we turn off the light in our bedroom when we go to bed instead of being tucked in and getting that good-night kiss to assure us that all is well before a parent hits the switch and leaves us in darkness?