The Best Years of Life

About thirty years ago, when I was playing in a park with my little daughters, an old woman said to me, "You'd better enjoy this—these are the best years of your life." As I recall, I made some polite rejoinder and moved away, having no desire to converse with someone who had just announced she was miserable and resented it.

Now and then as I grow older, the children having grown and moved away and the bones creaking more every year, her remark returns to mind and must be dealt with. There is a sense in which she was right, but what she said tempts with of a kind of morbidity to which we should not . . .

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S. M. Hutchens is a senior editor.

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