Kendall's birthday has come and gone. We have these things in common: neither of us will ever be sixteen again, and neither of us will ever again have a seventeenth birthday.
I'm not reflecting on this because I wish I was a teenager. Lord, no! I wouldn't go back to those years if someone paid me.
I enjoy my age, this day of my life, more than any other. All of the random madnesses of life have come together at this point, have been sifted and refined; the crap left in the sifter has been tossed aside, leaving clarity and gratitude...clarity that I am not really very wise, that there is still a lot to learn about life and myself, and gratitude that, at least for today, I am physically and mentally able to continue learning and growing.
I'm reflecting on time, how quickly it passes, how you can't get it back once it's gone, how it's hard to balance, and how there never seems to be enough of it. I wish I could make it slow down sometimes. Not long ago, Kendall was a tiny little girl dressed all in pink making fish-faces and carrying a purse that was half her size, and now she's entering her last year of high school, preparing to leave home in a little more than a year.
At seventeen, I spent a month hopping around Europe - a tight-budget tour through England, France, Austria, Italy, and Spain. At seventeen, I began a five-year detrimental, rollercoaster relationship. At seventeen I supported my best friend in her pregnancy, marriage, and subsequent divorce after the birth of her precious daughter.
I wonder what this coming year has in store for Kendall?
She didn't have much time on her birthday to celebrate - just an hour or two in between work and class. I think that's what the next few months will be like - just snatches of time in between all of her activities. So I tried to make it special for her until she has her party this weekend. I wanted her to know I think she's special, and worth all the time I spend on her. I think I succeeded...I hope I succeeded.