Friday, November 03, 2006

Tuck Everlasting

M has been reading Tuck Everlasting in class the past few weeks, so I picked up a copy at the library for him to have at home. That way he didn't have to keep bringing home the book to do his homework.

Tonight, I decided that I would read it to see what its all about. Well, it starts kind of slow, but gets very interesting (to me at least - M says its boring). There's a family that has drunk from a "fountain of life" or rather a spring of everlasting life. They don't age or get hurt.

It brings up some interesting questions.

How much of it is just not aging, but everything continues and how much is it like Groundhog Day, the movie?

Could you get pregnant and have a child, without aging? Would that child age or stay an infant? Ack, who would want to have a newborn forever???

If you had kids and had drunk from this spring, at what age would you want to stop their aging?

I like the ages my kids are now (and have even said that I'd like to freeze them at this age, but for forever....?) Life would certainly be different if they were 7 and 10 forever. I've been looking forward to the time when I could go out with D and leave them for a few hours without having to find a babysitter in a few years. Or, as D says, would they mature emotionally enough that you could leave them alone without maturing physically?

What about learning? Would they continue to learn new things? A is already advanced in math and bored at the single digit addition and subtraction - would he continue to be 7 and be doing algebra? I think that his 7 yo mind could handle algebra given enough time to go through the intervening math, but in the real world he would be aging to at least 10 or 11 by then. What about reading? We decided they would probably continue to advance in reading skills, but probably not much in level of maturity in books. After a while you would run out of books that are at the right age and interest appropriate level - and most of those would be too easy anyway.

You'd have to keep moving. That doesn't seem so hard in our mobile society, but you'd probably have to keep friendships mostly superficial to avoid getting caught in inconsistencies. After all, if you've been the same age for 87 years as the Tucks have, you'd have lived through WWI, the great depression, WWII, Vietnam, Civil rights, various assassinations, etc. It would be very difficult to talk about those as though they were before your time.

While not aging sounds like a neat idea, I can see why the Tucks want to keep the spring a secret and don't want anyone to discover it. Me, sometimes I'd like to slow down time and other times I have trouble remembering not to 'wish my life away'.


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