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[From the Archive]

Out of the Mouths of Babes


One day my schoolchildren, aged from seven to eleven years, wrote compositions on the subject of “Grown-ups.” The word had been written on the board, and they were told to write whatever idea it brought to their minds with the promise that the compositions would not be read aloud in class. They had no chance to talk it over with the other children, nor much time to think about it in the bare half hour allowed them. These papers, sixty-one in number, were brought to me uncorrected, and I read them with much interest and a little dismay.

Let me begin with a few general descriptions:

“You are a grown-up person when you are married or over 29. When you are grown-up you can bos yourself.”

Letitia’s definition is even briefer: “Grown-ups are people who boss you.”

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