A boy becomes an adult three years before his parents think he does, and about two years after he thinks he does.
A child becomes an adult when he realizes that he has a right not only to be right but also to be wrong.
Adulthood is the ever-shrinking period between childhood and old age. It is the apparent aim of modern industrial societies to reduce this period to a minimum.
Grown up, and that is a terribly hard thing to do. It is much easier to skip it and go from one childhood to another.
I believe a man is born first unto himself –for the happy developing of himself, while the world is a nursery, and the pretty things are to be snatched for, and pleasant things tasted; some people seem to exist thus right to the end. But most are born again on entering manhood; then they are born to humanity, to a consciousness of all the laughing, and the never-ceasing murmur of pain and sorrow that comes from the terrible multitudes of brothers.
In my case, adulthood itself was not an advance, although it was a useful waymark.
In youth the human body drew me and was the object of my secret and natural dreams. But body after body has taken away from me that sensual phosphorescence which my youth delighted in. Within me is no disturbing interplay now, but only the steady currents of adaptation and of sympathy.
Men are but children of a larger growth, Our appetites as apt to change as theirs, And full as craving too, and full as vain.
One of the signs of passing youth is the birth of a sense of fellowship with other human beings as we take our place among them.
Part of the reason for the ugliness of adults, in a child's eyes, is that the child is usually looking upwards, and few faces are at their best when seen from below.
The distinction between children and adults, while probably useful for some purposes, is at bottom a specious one, I feel. There are only individual egos, crazy for love.
To be adult is to be alone.
We have not passed that subtle line between childhood and adulthood until we move from the passive voice to the active voice — that is, until we have stopped saying ''It got lost,'' and say, ''I lost it.''
We seem but to linger in manhood to tell the dreams of our childhood, and they vanish out of memory ere we learn the language.
What is an adult? A child blown up by age.