I'm reading Jennifer Haigh's short story Sublimation, and I came across a sentence that grabbed my attention.
"Their son's habit isn't news to her, not really, though she always imagined he'd outgrow it. Children left everything behind, eventually. Her attic is full of board games and sports equipment and Boy Scout uniforms, a veritable zoo of stuffed animals she can't bear to throw away".
In this case, could the usage of the word "left" here in the simple past easily be substituted by:
children always leave everything behind
children always end up leaving everything behind
I've been trying to read between the lines as to why the author used the simple past in the sentence in bold. What is she trying to emphasize?