So I was walking home after taking our election ballots to a drop-off box at the library up the street.
I encountered a neighbor and his son riding their bikes. They stopped to say hello.
The little boy declared that today is his birthday and said he is 8 years old.
I told him that was impossible. But he assured me it was true.
I wished him a happy birthday and offered him a gift. It was the gift of silence. I didn't tell him what I remember about being 8.
But here's what I recall.
Once, in my third grade class, we were learning about the major food groups. This rather dour little girl named Jamie was asked to name them.
I think she started off OK, but then mentioned a food group not widely regarded as one of the big four.
"Game," she said.
I laughed so loud and so long that I was ordered by the teacher to go stand out in the hall.
I had not been trying to be mean or embarrass poor Jamie.
But, really. Game? Still cracks me up.
I mean, we were not living on the frontier. This was in a "Wonder Years" suburb.
Another thing I remember about being 8 is President Kennedy getting killed.
I asked the little boy's dad where they were headed. He said they were going to get Fro-Yo. The little boy nodded in approval.
I hope, when he's older and looks back, that's the sort of thing he remembers about being 8. Getting Fro-Yo with his dad.
Though I guess it would be OK if some kid in his class at school thought game was a key part of the food pyramid or whatever they use to classify our nutritional needs nowadays.
I wonder if teachers still make kids go stand out in the hall.