The Quote Garden

 I dig old books.

 Est. 1998

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Quotations about
Ages Birth to 29 Years Old

Welcome to my page of quotations about specific ages — the years up to age twenty-nine:  childhood, the 'tweens, teens, adolescence, young adulthood, and the 20s.  —ღ Terri

Age 1. —
Soon a happy year had flown:
He could creep, and stand alone,
Know mamma and Rob and Fritz,
Do a hundred pretty tricks...
~M. E. B., "A Song for a Birthday Boy," 1800s

Age 3. —
Three years old: now look for squalls,
Trials, troubles, cries and falls!
Up and down like any rocket!
In his dress a little pocket
Filled with tops and nails and strings
And some fifty other things;
Three feet tall, or taller, maybe—
Can this be my little baby?
~M. E. B., "A Song for a Birthday Boy," 1800s

Age 3. —
...a house is never perfectly furnished for enjoyment, unless there is a child in it rising three years old, and a kitten rising six weeks. ~Robert Southey, The Doctor, &c., 1837

Age 4. —
The greatest poem ever known
      Is one all poets have outgrown:
      The poetry, innate, untold,
      Of being only four years old.
Still young enough to be a part
      Of Nature's great impulsive heart,
      Born comrade of bird, beast and tree
      And unselfconscious as the bee—
And yet with lovely reason skilled
      Each day new paradise to build,
      Elate explorer of each sense,
      Without dismay, without pretence!...
And Life, that sets all things in rhyme,
      May make you poet, too, in time—
      But there were days, O tender elf,
      When you were Poetry itself!
~Christopher Morley, "To a Child," 1921

Age 4. —
Still another birthday: dear,
What a four-year colt is here!
Leaping, running, skipping, prancing,
In and out on swift feet dancing,
Handling marbles, spinning tops,
Spending cents in candy-shops...
~M. E. B., "A Song for a Birthday Boy," 1800s

Age 5. —
I learned about clocks
when I was quite little.
I was half past four.
Now I'm five.
~Harry Behn, All Kinds of Time, 1950

Age 5. —
Now, as sure as I'm alive,
That outrageous boy is five!...
Full of tricks as any marten—
Get him to a Kindergarten;
There he'll learn to use his wits...
~M. E. B., "A Song for a Birthday Boy," 1800s

Ages 0–6. —
It's not easy to be crafty and winsome at the same time, and few accomplish it after the age of six. ~D. Sutten, as quoted in John W. Gardner & Francesca Gardner Reese, Quotations of Wit and Wisdom: Know or Listen to Those Who Know, 1975

Age 6. —
Anticipate the day as if it was your birthday and you are turning six again. ~Mike Dolan, @HawaiianLife, tweet, 2012

Age 6. —
Six — and what do I behold!
No more waving curls of gold,
But a little wig of brown,
Closely cropped about the crown...
Growing, every single day,
In the most surprising way.
~M. E. B., "A Song for a Birthday Boy," 1800s

Age 7. —
Seven to-day: a Boy at last!
Time and tide have travelled fast;
There he sits so fine and tall,
Jacket, trousers, boots and all;
He can spell, and read, and write,
He is good and gay and bright,
And his life goes bravely on,
— But where is my Baby gone!
~M. E. B., "A Song for a Birthday Boy," 1800s

Age 11. —
There comes a time when you should stop expecting other people to make a big deal about your birthday. That time is:  age 11. ~Dave Barry, "25 Things I Have Learned in 50 Years," Dave Barry Turns 50, 1998,

Age 12. —
Everybody's twelve years old in an apple orchard. ~Rachael Ray, Rachael Ray Show, while making autumn stew, original airdate 2007 October 11th

Age 12. —
Before I knew it, Becky and I had been going steady for a full week. That's nearly six months in adult years. ~The Wonder Years, "Steady as She Goes," 1989, written by David M. Stern  [S2, E4, Narrator Kevin]

Ages 12 to Teens. —
Adolescence is a period of rapid changes. Between the ages of twelve and seventeen, for example, a parent ages as much as twenty years. ~Henny Youngman, c.1960s

Age 13. —
I was thirteen years old. Being self-conscious was a full-time job. ~The Wonder Years, "The Pimple," 1989, written by David M. Stern and Todd W. Langen  [S3, E8, Narrator Kevin]

Age 13. —
TONY: said you didn't want to be treated like a kid anymore... What happened to grown-up?
SAM:  That's the beauty of being thirteen — you could go either way.
~Who's the Boss?, "The Prodigal Father-in-Law," 1985, written by Cheri Eichen and Bill Steinkellner  [S2, E10]

Age 13. —
...thirteen years ago. Thirteen years!... Thirteen years... (It seems incredible but it is thirteen years!) ~H. G. Wells, Apropos of Dolores, 1938

Age 13. —
Look here... I'm fourteen in November; you forget what a man I am. ~Frederick William Robinson, Under the Spell, 1870

Age 13'ish. —
So you will have to be satisfied when I tell you that I'm at the "gawky age." I am little enough still to love puppies and big enough to love Washington Irving. ~Kate Trimble Sharber (b.1883), The Annals of Ann, 1910

Age 14. —
...inwardly, we're much older than other girls our age. Even though I'm only fourteen... I feel I'm more of a person than a child... ~Anne M. Frank, letter, 1944

Age 14. —
In the time it takes you to understand a 14-year-old, he turns 15. ~Robert Brault,

Ages 14 & 15. —
Lucy was just booked for fifteen, with the seal of innocence upon her heart, and a rose-leaf on her cheek... ~Fanny Forester (Emily Chubbuck Judson)

Ages 15 & 16. —
There was a great distance between fifteen and sixteen, more than between any other two years she had come on yet. ~Cid Ricketts Sumner, Sudden Glory, 1951

Age 16. —
The best substitute for experience is being sixteen. ~Raymond Duncan, unverified

Age 17. —
A year's separation was an ordeal, but there was something romantic about it to a seventeener. ~F. W. Robinson, Her Face Was Her Fortune, 1873

Age 18. — eighteen, drawing near the confines of illusive, void dreams, Elf-land lies before us, the shores of Reality rise in front. These shores are yet distant: they look so blue, soft, gentle, we long to reach them.... at eighteen the school of Experience is to be entered, and her humble, crushing, grinding, but yet purifying and invigorating lessons are yet to be learnt. ~Charlotte Brontë, "The Curates at Tea," Shirley, 1849

Age 18. —
At eighteen... Love, when he comes wandering like a lost angel at our door, is at once admitted, welcomed, embraced; his quiver is not seen; if his arrows penetrate, their wound is like a thrill of new life; there are no fears of poison, none of the barb which no leech's hand can extract; that perilous passion... ~Charlotte Brontë, "The Curates at Tea," Shirley, 1849

Age 18. —
Life would be infinitely happier if we could only be born at the age of eighty and gradually approach eighteen. ~Mark Twain (1835–1910), quoted in Autobiography with Letters by William L. Phelps, 1939

Age 20. —
It is another saying of the Laureate's, according to On-dit, that, "live as long as you may, the first twenty years are the longest half of your life." They appear so while they are passing; they seem to have been so when we look back upon them; and they take up more room in our memory than all the years that succeed them. ~Robert Southey, The Doctor, &c., 1837

Age 20. —
Is there a self-aware person who does not squirm when he remembers what he was like at twenty? ~Eric Hoffer, Reflections on the Human Condition, 1973

Age 20. —
      "To think this is my twentieth birthday, and that I've left my teens behind me forever," said Anne...
      "I suppose you feel kind of sorry," said Aunt Jamesina. "The teens are such a nice part of life. I'm glad I've never gone out of them myself."
      Anne laughed. "You never will, Aunty. You'll be eighteen when you should be a hundred... Miss Stacy told me long ago that by the time I was twenty my character would be formed, for good or evil. I don't feel that it's what it should be. It's full of flaws."
      "So's everybody's," said Aunt Jamesina cheerfully. "Mine's cracked in a hundred places. Your Miss Stacy likely meant that when you were twenty your character would have got its permanent bent in one direction or 'tother, and would go on developing in that line. Don't worry over it, Anne. Do your duty by God and your neighbour and yourself, and have a good time. That's my philosophy and it's always worked pretty well..." ~L. M. Montgomery, Anne of the Island, 1915

Age 20. —
Twenty blushing springs have nestled
      Fast asleep in summer's arms,
Twenty bright, uncertain autumns
      Fled at winter's gray alarms...
Twenty years are scarce a heart-beat
      In the motion of the past,
And they seem to flee like shadows
      From the sunshine they've amassed...
Twenty years! 'Tis well that birthdays
      Stand as milestones on the way,
To remind us how the present
      Gains upon the future gay.
How the past recedes and leaves us
      For the sunny long ago,
While it seems to linger round us
      With its phosphorescent glow...
~Sara L. Vickers Oberholtzer, "Time's Unfinished Volume," 1880

The 20s. —
And I dream of the days when work was scrappy...
When we were angry and poor and happy...
When the Devil rode and his dogs smelt gold...
When I was twenty and odd years old.
~Gilbert K. Chesterton, "A Song of Defeat," Poems, 1915

The 20s. —
Most of the faults in the poems I have been reading can be explained, I think, by the fact that they have been exposed to the fierce light of publicity while they were still too young to stand the strain. It has shrivelled them into a skeleton austerity, both emotional and verbal, which should not be characteristic of youth... After all, the years from twenty to thirty are years... of emotional excitement... Write then, now that you are young, nonsense by the ream. Be silly, be sentimental, imitate Shelley, imitate Samuel Smiles; give the rein to every impulse; commit every fault of style, grammar, taste, and syntax; pour out; tumble over; loose anger, love, satire, in whatever words you can catch, coerce, or create, in whatever metre, prose, poetry, or gibberish that comes to hand. Thus you will learn to write. But if you publish, your freedom will be checked; you will be thinking what people will say; you will write for others when you ought only to be writing for yourself. And what point can there be in curbing the wild torrent of spontaneous nonsense which is now, for a few years only, your divine gift...? ~Virginia Woolf, letter to John Lehmann, 1931

Age 21. —
Twenty-one! 't is yet youth's early morning,—
Life's real, earnest strife is but begun...
~Florence Percy (Elizabeth Anne Chase Akers Allen, 1832–1911), "Twenty-One," Forest Buds, from the Woods of Maine, 1855

Age 21. —
I'm strong and free, and Twenty-one;
Joyous as a bird in the sun!
As full of hope, as full of glee,
As any soon of man can be!
            I'm Twenty-one.
~Jessee H. Butler, "Twenty-One," Home: Femme Heroic and Miscellaneous Poems, 1875

Age 21. —
I'd like a pair of wings, to fly
With the young eagles, up on high;
I feel almost as light as they,
While watching their aerial play—
            I'm Twenty-one.
~Jessee H. Butler, "Twenty-One," Home: Femme Heroic and Miscellaneous Poems, 1875

Age 21. —
Strange conflicts and emotions swell,
While memory flings her tender spell
Athwart my overflowing heart,
Like a magician's changing art.
            I'm Twenty-one.
~Jessee H. Butler, "Twenty-One," Home: Femme Heroic and Miscellaneous Poems, 1875

Age 21. —
When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished at how much he had learned in seven years. ~Author unknown  []

Age 23. —
The last birthday thats any good is about twenty-three. ~Andy Rooney, "Birthdays," 1995, Years of Minutes, 2003  [Rooney's note of explanation in the foreword: "The one affectation I have forced on the publisher... are my apostrophe-free elisions." —tg]

Ages 25–30. —
Anybody who is 25 or 30 years old has physical scars from all sorts of things, from tuberculosis to polio. It's the same with the mind. ~Moses Ralph Kaufman (1900–1977), unverified

Age 29. Women. —
It sometimes happens, that a woman is handsomer at twenty-nine than she was ten years before; and, generally speaking, if there has been neither ill health nor anxiety, it is a time of life at which scarcely any charm is lost. ~Jane Austen, Persuasion, 1817

Ages 1 to 29. —
...there are actually three terrible ages of childhood — one to ten, eleven to twenty, and twenty-one to thirty. ~Cleveland Amory, The Trouble with Nowadays: A Curmudgeon Strikes Back, 1979

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published 1999 Feb 16
revised Feb 2016, Feb 2017
last saved 2024 Apr 28