Oh kids, aren’t they a noisy bunch? Mid-afternoon, the bus that gets to the train station would be packed with students on their way home. The top deck, without the close supervision of the bus captain, would overflow with their excitement. Surely, it’s their favourite time of the day; it’s a momentary relief from teachers, parents and expectations. Even the most studious children would forget about their homework until they get home. Some share glorious feats of slaying the great green gargoyle in their virtual quests, others sneak treasured snacks amongst their closest pals. The common denominator is their chatter – loud, sincere, and unrestrained.
It shouldn’t be surprising that many aspects of our living experience follow an inverted parabolic path. In our childhood and adolescence, we crawl and climb and hop to higher grounds. At some point, the roads take a turn downhill, often sooner than we would expect them to. Independence is one example; the sweet taste of the first paycheque would hardly portend the need to have someone else change our diapers when we are all decrepit and broken. Other factors that are associated with independence, such as ability or income, follow the same pattern.
Reticence is another. As we grow older, we speak less of our minds, and perhaps more lies. Could we be less verbally expressive on the whole, as we pass into adulthood? A study of the average number of words spoken each day by people of different ages would be interesting. Past the tipping point, one wouldn’t be too far from being that nagging grandmamma or that grumbling grandpapa.
No doubt I’m generalizing, and over-simplifying. If there was only a single turning point in life, it would be too predictable, too easy. Only in the twists and turns we are lost and found, and then there are those who wander.
I’d wished that I could speak my mind more often, although it wanders off every now and then.