1. No gynecologist necessary.
As an 8-year-old girl, your vagina is likely pristine and untouched. Sporadic mentions of the term pap smear have elicited nothing more than images of fancy cream cheese in your mind. You are untainted; a tabula rasa.
2. You aren’t yet cognizant to the word “pedophile.”
The life of an 8-year-old is coated in a thick shell of candy and stickers. The stars are all aligned in your favor and everyone seems to have good intentions. It’s 10 years before you’ll find out that your nursery school chess teacher was arrested on charges of pedophilia and 15 years before you discover that your camp drama teacher is in jail for making child pornography.
3. You can gleefully traipse around water parks.
You can go to water parks and run around barefoot, wholly ignorant to the diseases festooning the concrete you’re currently walking on. You can revel in the wave pool, let loose and maybe even swallow some pool water, unaware of the actual number of boogers you just ingested.
4. Being “bad” could only go so far.
As an 8-year-old, you were never at risk of doing anything that could actually be deemed illegal. You didn’t have tax duties and so never felt a legitimate pressure weighing on your shoulders. You’ve likely not yet delved into alcohol or any illegal substances either. At this age, the least behaved you can get is shaving your legs without first asking for your mom’s permission.
Your parents ensured, through decent wages, that a relatively cool girl would hang out with you and pretend to be your friend every friday and saturday night. That’s one more friend you had as an 8-year-old and one less friend you’ll have now.
6. The price of being cool was affordable.
And the clothes that made you cool all existed in one store that everyone you knew shopped at. No one around you was buying $3,000 Celine bags; it was tractor jeans, a petit bateau, juicy velvet zip-up hoodie and you were killin’ ’em.
7. You literally worried about Eggo Waffles.
And that is the extent to your daily concerns: Is there or is there not enough butter and maple syrup left in the fridge?
8. Your cute voice was still cute.
“Who, me? But I’m just a wittle wittle girl who doesn’t know how to count!” I’ll sometimes say when asked for my credit card at the end of an expensive meal. Then I’ll remember that I’m no longer 8 years old, have grown an obtrusive mustache and, after trying to run away, will resignedly throw in my card.
9. You had the balls of an 8-year-old.
Which, for some reason, are always stronger than that of a 25-year-old. You put on tap dance recitals once a month, like a G, excited to perform in front of a full audience. Now, the same exact thing would require 2 Zanax.
10. You absorbed information quicker.
You had your whole life ahead of you; even the prospect of learning a new language! Because you were 8 and therefore learned and absorbed information easier. Also, you were not yet smoking weed. Now it’s a feat if you can recall the number of times you took a shit yesterday.