18 days and then it is the perfect number

18 days and then it is the perfect number


The number 18 has a certain amount of significance in American culture. We turn 18. We become adults. We go to college and get credit cards in our names. We can go into the military and we can also vote but yet we still cannot legally purchase alcohol. 18! It is such an important time that Moby titled his 2002 album 18 (ok, that’s really doesn’t make my case).



I turned 18 with much internal fanfare and no external acts of joy. It was what it was.  I was in a foreign land away from family and home. I was a bit lonely but free. Free to do what I didn’t quite know. I still had no money and was getting ready to go to college not knowing how things would turn out.  I suppose no one does, really. Ironically, in Hebrew the word for life has the numerical value of 18.  We mark a major milestone in life with the number 18.




My son’s birthday is coming. No, he will not be turning 18. He will be turning six in 18 days. Six years old and I do not know where the time went.  I cannot even imagine how it will be when he turns 18.  That age seems such a lonely time when the kids leave and you are left with an empty room to redecorate, repurpose or turn into some weird homage.  Luckily, my son is not turning 18. He is just still going to be a little boy at 6 years of age.



No one rally talks much about 6-year old children. When they turn 5 years of age it is a big deal as that is when they are going into kindergarten (at least in the United States). When they turn 7 there is a major shift in cognitive functions. Supposedly. However, boys are a little slower than girls. What about 6?



Did you know that 6 is the perfect number?  Literally. Since six equals the sum of its proper divisors, six is the smallest perfect number.  Furthermore, is the only number that is both the sum and the product of three consecutive positive numbers.  It seems that I am then for a treat in the coming year. My son is so excited to be turning six as he is one of the youngest in his class. Some of his friends already turned six in January and February. He has been waiting 8 months for that magical day the calendar notes he no longer five years old. He recognizes it as a day and age where something grand will occur. He will be a first-grader. He believes that everything will change that day.



How lovely to have such a firm belief system in which a number just magically turns everything around and moves one forward.   I kind of miss that feeling of eager anticipation and sense that the world has yet many grand surprises in store for one. The twinkle in his eye at the mention of turning 6 is soul tingling.  He is savoring the act of turning six even more than the idea of getting birthday gifts.  Ah, to savor a day. 18 days and then I can capture that moment of actualization through my own eyes and bones. I can’t wait to feel his energy and giddiness run through my arms encircling him.


18 days and then it is the perfect number.






3 replies »

  1. What a wonderful age 6 is! And how exciting for your son!
    I had no idea 6 was the perfect number. However, I do know that 18 is Peyton Manning’s number! COLTS fans miss him… 😦


  2. He is still an innocent. Enjoy it while it lasts. I don’t remember my 6th birthday. I don’t remember my mother making a birthday party for any of my birthdays, except for my “Sweet Sixteen.” Your son is very lucky to have you for his Mom. Eighteen was a very special birthday for me. I was just ending my senior year in high school (May). I finished my day at school and took a bus all the way downtown Brooklyn to get my learner’s permit. It was a very special day, indeed.


  3. Hmm. I’m dreading my next birthday as much as your son is looking forward to his. The 69 to 70 rite of passage is downright depressing. Although my latest high school friend turned Facebook friend just said that she turned 60-10, a policy I intend to adopt when the dreaded day comes. But I treasure a particular set of memories from my childhood, from a neighborhood I lived in from age 4 to 9. We were totally ‘free’ as kids, innocent fun but it involved climbing trees, and rope swings over a river, things that these days would require much supervision. My constant playmate from those days was named John, and when I remembered those days I would think of him, but we had had no connection for 60-something years. But now we have Facebook, and we did reconnect and spent hours talking and laughing, and it was heart warming. He kissed me goodbye, and said that I was the first girl he had ever kissed, and now I was the last girl he had kissed. Yes, I would say that six years old is the perfect age to make memories that might warm your heart for years…


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