Slippery Old Man

Today as I was sitting on a park bench near my job while enjoying my lunch coffee, a 4 or 5 year old boy slipped and tumbled to the ground while chasing after his older brother.

As the only adult around, he looked at me. I smiled at him, and he smiled back. He then put on a weary voice and said:

"I slipped. I’m an old mannnnnn."

I laughed and went back to my phone. The boy continued:

"I’m an old man. Life gets harderrrrr."

I laughed and again looked back at my phone, but then the boy stood up and looked at me for a second. I met his gaze, and he asked plainly:

"Does life get harder?"

Last night at 5 am, I woke up from a nightmare that I was lost in a darkening woods and then had a panic attack for 20 minutes. 

"Uh," I answered the boy, "I think it’s good."

He wiped dirt off his pants and ran to his brother. I probably dodged his question, but I just wanted the word “good” to be in there somewhere when he thinks about getting older.