Tuck does not like his changelessness. Perhaps he did at one point, but after 87 years, Tuck has realized that he missed the normal ebb and flow of a changing life. He misses the maturing process. He misses seeing his kids change. He misses seeing himself change. He feels left out that the world gets to change around him, but he doesn't get to change with it. He feels completely out of place and out of sync with the world.
The frogs is part of it, and the bugs, and the fish, and the wood thrush, too. And people. But never the same ones. Always coming in new, always growing and changing, and always moving on. That's the way it's supposed to be. That's the way it is."
Tuck goes on to further explain why he feels that life has left him out.
"It goes on," Tuck repeated, "to the ocean. But this rowboat now, it's stuck. If we didn't move it out ourself, it would stay here forever, trying to get loose, but stuck. That's what us Tucks are, Winnie. Stuck so's we can't move on. We ain't part of the wheel no more. Dropped off, Winnie. Left behind. And everywhere around us, things is moving and growing and changing.
Tuck sees all of life changing, except him and his family. He desperately wants to be a part of that changing world again.
Tuck's most powerful statement in the entire chapter is when he explains to Winnie that he wishes he could go back to how he was before, so that he would be able to die. That sounds odd, but his explanation is near perfect. He says that living is impossible if there is no threat of death. He says that in order to truly live, a person has to be able to die. Tuck doesn't feel as if he is living. He feels that he and his family simply exist. . . like non-living rocks on the side of the road.
"You can't have living without dying. So you can't call it living, what we got. We just are, we just be, like rocks beside the road."