One night somebody asked, when is the best time in a man’s life?
Some said, it’s when you are a kid and can fool around all the time and go down to the river in the summer and play hockey on the road in the winter and that’s all you think about, fooling around and having a good time.
Or when you’re a young fellow going out and haven’t got any responsibilities.
Or when you’re first married if you’re fond of your wife and a bit later, too, when the children are just little and running around and haven’t shown any bad characteristics yet.
My father spoke up and said, “Now. I think maybe now.”
They asked him why.
He said because you weren’t old yet, with one thing or another collapsing on you, but old enough that you could see that a lot of the things you might have wanted out of life you would never get. It was hard to explain how you could be happy in such a situation, but sometimes he thought you were.
— from The View from Castle Rock by Alice Munroe