Live to be 100 years old: Aging and other things my kid wonders about

“When do we get to the 3000s,” my seven-year-old asked.
“The 3000s,” I asked.
“Yes. We’re in the 2000s now, and I’m wondering when we’ll get to the 3000s.”
“Oh honey, neither of us will still be alive then,” I said carelessly, nonchalantly.
“Why,” sounding devastated. “But I want to live for a long time.”
“Ok, that’s fine, but do you realize that the year 3000 is a thousand years away, that’s longer than most people live. But if you eat healthy, get your rest, and try to make good choices, you can increase your chances of living a long time.” (I couldn’t resist throwing some tried and true mom advice in there.)
“But I want to live until I’m 100.”
“That’s fine, but like I said, the year 3000 is actually one thousand years away. So even if you live to be 100, you will only see the year 2100. Does that make sense?” He gave me a blank look. “I know, it’s confusing and that seems like a long time. I hate to break it to you honey, but nobody lives that long.”
“Except God,” he quickly countered.
I paused for a moment…
“Ok,” I said, “you’re right but…”
“I want to be like God,” he chimed in. “How does he know how to live that long?”
That’s a good question I thought to myself.

We both sat there in silence contemplating this broad spiritual and philosophical question that was sure to elude us both. But we kept thinking about it.

There are some questions kids ask that even the most well-intentioned parent just doesn’t have the answer for. My son is mildly obsessed, or maybe I should say seriously concerned with aging and death (he hates the thought of it). So naturally, he’s also been fascinated with living for a long time—as long as possible (I think). He’s curious about what it takes to live to be 100 years old. I keep thinking if I had that secret, I would be rich.

Personally, living that long seems exhausting, but I didn’t say that to my son, I don’t want to ruin his age-defying aspirations. But I did somehow want to reassure him he has plenty of time to live. Only, there’s that other side of the story, the truth or shall I say reality; that we just can’t predict how long any of us will live. None of our next breaths are “promised”. There is so much mystery and unknown in terms of human lifespans that I can’t in good conscience promise this kid he’ll live forever. Sometimes I wonder if instinctively my son wonders that already and wants to counteract his reasonable fears of death and its unknown, with optimistic hopes of living forever. I get that. But what a dilemma we’d found ourselves in.

After our conversation, I thought more about my son’s questions and thought what would it hurt to support him on his age-defying journey. I might even learn a few tricks to improve my own quality of life. So the other day we discussed some of the things people might do to live to be 100. He reiterated things we’ve discussed in the past: eating healthy, getting rest, and getting a good education. I thought o.k., that’s a good start. But when I probed a little more about what he could do to improve his chances of living longer, he added: taking care of the Earth and not taking too many dangerous risks (like alcohol in excess, smoking, or drugs). In other words, try to make good life choices. I was proud of him. And though I know doing those things may or may not necessarily guarantee us a long life, it’s a good start.

So in an attempt to inspire and empower my son to live his fullest life, I’ve set out to help him do some research on the subject. We’re on our way to long and healthy lives, and if you’re curious, you too can strive to live to be 100 years old. Join my seven-year-old, he only has 93 more years to go!

Want more (legitimate) ways of improving quality of life and aging healthy (and gracefully)? Check the following articles out. Quick tip: flossing can help you live longer, who knew?
How to live to 100
11 Health Habits That Will Help You Live to 100

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Categories: Misc.

2 Comments on “Live to be 100 years old: Aging and other things my kid wonders about”

  1. Lisa Scott
    February 2, 2012 at 10:52 pm #

    Hello I’ve been fortunate/blessed to know 2ladies-sisters that are/over100 yrs.1has passed on the other still alive let me know if you and your son would like to meet her. I enjoy ur blog

    • February 2, 2012 at 11:04 pm #

      Thank you. I’m glad you enjoy my blog. Thanks so much for visiting and sharing.

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