Maurice Sendak’s age

Just after I posted yesterday about age-based schooling, I read a short excerpt from a 2009 New Yorker interview with the late Maurice Sendak.  Sendak says of the photograph that accompanies the interview “I am in my bathrobe in the forest with my dog, Herman, who is a German shepherd of unknowable age, because I refused to ever find out.  I don’t want to know.  I wish I didn’t know how old I was.”

Sendak’s words prompted me to wonder what we might do differently if we weren’t able to know how old children are at a given moment.  Would our opinions be different about what they need to be doing or need to know?  Are there things we worry about now that we would not think to worry about?

And what might we become able to see in young people that is now obscured by age-based expectation?