Coda: Philosophy with a Five-year-old

“I’m going to tell my body to stop growing.”

This is somewhat chilling, coming from a boy who did indeed stop growing as a toddler.

“You want to stay new, don’t you?” I ask. “So you’ll be farther away from dying, right?”

That’s exactly it. So I tell him something that I’ve read, and even as I say it I realize that I believe that it’s true, but I don’t know when it went from an interesting literary idea to something that I think defines life.

“Living means growing, hon,” I say. “As long as you’re alive, you’re growing and changing. If you stop growing, you stop living.”

“I have to grow?”