When you're six years old, you think childhood goes on forever. There are no days, weeks, or months to keep track of, no weekly paychecks or monthly bills or yearly tax statements to mark the passage of time as in the adult world. Sure, there's the quarterly report card – but that's mostly for the parents anyway. In the young mind, time marches by in a continuing spiral of weekend cartoons, insufferable school days, nightly battles to avoid baths and bedtimes. The only indicators of elapsing years are the school clothes that you outgrow the month they're purchased and the switching of teachers as you ascend up the grade ladder. Otherwise, you don't label the years by number. You only know a great stretch of blankness to be filled with activity and memories.
Time is not the only thing elastic about childhood. Adults believe – to their disadvantage – that the mind matures as you get older, that reality is a concrete matter and that once you learn that, you're ready for the "real" world.