Another birthday. And so two characters exit the stage, Fifteen and Eighteen, and two enter, Sixteen and Nineteen.
I’m at a stage in life, most likely late-middle, where I don’t take mine or other close friends’ or family members’ birthdays for granted. Increasingly I think of birthdays as celebrations of another year of life together.
I know I should write about how Nineteen is also blossoming on her own at college. About how helpful she’s been at home this summer. About how she salvaged a summer of unemployment by hustling together odd jobs in the hood and a half-time internship. About how nice it was that she invited me to go to Portland with her for a Sara Bareilles concert (that fact that her mom didn’t want her driving home alone after midnight might have factored in too).
Can’t though because a part of Nineteen’s blossoming is continuing to get faster in the pool. When she got faster than me at the 500 freestyle, I consoled myself by thinking at least I own the shorter stuff. Since that’s no longer true, I figured well I can still sing “Look at Me Now” to myself as I pull away in open water. Then Mel, her, and I dove into Ward Lake last Saturday afternoon. I used to be able to pick her out when looking back while breathing. Now I have to lift the chin and tilt the ol’ noggin forward.
So since this is what it has come to, her showing no respect for her elders, I’m going to tap that middle schooler in me that does the opposite of whatever I’m supposed to. Stopping right here sans warm fuzzies.
And as Sara sings. . . Who cares if you disagree? You are not me. Who made you king of anything?