1. You’re no longer a baby, yet still allowed some innocence
You’re finally sharp enough to watch Sesame Street and think to yourself, Hmm, ya know, I think this giant talking purple woolly mammoth might actually be just a puppet. HA! Only Babies would think he was REAL!! But at the same time you can turn around and say, Santa Claus? Oh yeah, he’s real FO SHO!! Go SANTA, Go SANTA GO!!
As a bonus, if you still have your “B card” (Believer card) you won’t be made fun of on the playground. Well, not to your face.
2. Two words: Third Grade
3rd grade is the bomb. You’ve absolutely crushed all those juvenile tasks like coloring in the lines and not eating glue. Now you’re in the big leagues, kid! Roald Dahl, Creative writing, Dioramas (Do you remember how freaking COOL Dioramas were?) In 3rd grade you really get into those hard hitting subjects, like Slavery — My ultimate FAV!! I mean, I disliked the idea of slavery, but I was absolutely obsessed with the subject matter. I even told my mom that I was definitely a runaway slave in my past life. She just looked at my oddly, probably in awe of my gifted and talented-ness.
3. Two more words: Sleep Overs
Now that you’re 8, your parents trust you enough to let you indulge in the greatest gift of Friday night childhood: GETTING TO SLEEP ON YOUR FRIEND’S FLOOR!!!! I’m still not quite sure why sleeping in a scratchy sleeping bag was deemed the most exhilarating thing in the world, but let’s not question the most precious time there ever was.
The night would often start with a rousing session of TGIF, then venture into the world of Girl Talk and Mall Madness. If you were a rather precocious bunch, there may also be a little nail painting and boy calling (and hanging up.) And the night always culminated in a 2am giggle-fest, at which time a parent would scream at everyone to shut the hell up.
It was the best.
4. Making friends is easy
Self-consciousness and social hierarchy—those things come later. For now, you’re basically guaranteed to have friends if you live in a house and/or have cool toys. At 8, I was best friends with this girl solely because she had an American Girl Doll and I had an Electric Piano.
5. Your mouth turns into a gold mine
Good-bye sissy little Chiclets, Hello big ol’ Chompers! This means two things:
1. Steak can properly be chewed
2. Dollah dollah bills!!!!
The ironic thing is that later in life you come to find that with cavities, braces and root canals, they will become nothing but money pits! Ah, to be young.
6. You become gazelle-like
You’re growing like crazy, leaning out and losing that pesky baby fat. Overnight, that rounded tummy is replaced with washboard abs, and you’re looking more like Kate Moss every day. And this is all happening on a steady diet of chicken nuggets and juice boxes.
7. You’re actually proud of your age
No 8 year old ever said to a 5 year old, “You don’t even know what I’d give to be 5 again!”
It was the one time you could actually live in the present moment. No lying about your age or recounting of the “good ol’ days” of being a fetus.
8. 8 was my peak
I was a child prodigy. Not the kind that could do trigonometry or name all of the U.S. Presidents. No, I was a Musical Theater prodigy (the most ANNOYING kind!!) At the young age of 8, I starred in Annie and memorized the hefty title role (as well as every other character’s line) backwards and forwards; I sang and danced the sh** outta that role- People wept in their seats.
Before you go and call me a show-off, let me mention that it was all downhill from there. It’s sad to say that I had more focus at the age of 8, than I do today at 32….uh…What was I saying?