the younger they look.

When I began teaching, elementary students looked like little kids, junior high students looked like middle-sized kids,  high school students looked like big kids, and college students looked like young adults.  I was middle-aged, and the world appeared as it should appear.


The  glow of youth grows ever-so charming as years go by.

About fifteen years or so later, as my own kids grew into adolescence, I began to notice  that lower-grade school-kids seemed to be growing younger-looking.  For example,  driving by the local junior high school, I found that  middle-school students  looked like little kids, more like elementary students.  That was weird.

Add five years to the story, as my own kids grew into young adulthood and latter -adolescence, moving on from high school to college: in those days, whenever I visited a high school, I was struck by how much the high school students looked less and less like teens and more and more like little kids.

Another five or ten years, a grandparent by now, living in a child-less empty-nest and approaching retirement age, often as I walked the hallways of the classroom building on the college campus where I worked, the next progression in this developmental phase of aging appeared: now, the college students that used to look like young adults looked oh-so-childlike and immature.

Not long thereafter,  I retired.  I figured that the college students’  regression was the final phase I’d observe.

But not so fast: At a parent meeting a few days ago at the high school where my post-retirement gig is going on, I looked around the room at the faces of moms and dads of high school students.  They looked like kids!

What’s next in the onslaught of advancing years?  I’d rather not imagine.