Posted tagged ‘thirteen’

“There’s nowhere you can be that isn’t where you’re meant to be…”

July 30, 2015

If I could go back in time, I don’t know exactly when I’d choose. Lots of places in time were wonderful for me. When I was eleven comes to mind. The teenage years weren’t even on the horizon yet. Boys were around but had no real importance in my life. I loved school. Riding my bike all over my little world took up many a Saturday in the summer. In the winter was the matinée. I was a girl scout still and did fun overnights at the camp in town near the zoo. I remember the cots there were the old canvas ones tricky to open. We made camp fire stew for dinner. We hiked on the trails through the pine forest which smelled like Christmas. Life was easy when I was eleven.

I might give thirteen another look. We were the big wigs in school, the eighth graders. I was finally a teenager though nothing miraculous happened. Boys were barely interesting but were definitely seeping into my consciousness. The future was rearing its ugly head. I had to pick a high school. My friend and I colluded and were accepted into the same school. That was cause for jubilation. I had the best fun inthat eighth grade. The nun was crazy, not harmful crazy but old age crazy. We got away with everything. I, who seldom crossed the line, spent most of my eighth grade over the line setting a trend for the rest of my life. The line became arbitrary. Life was fun when I was thirteen.

I think I’d be twenty-one again. I’d get to vote for the first time and legally drink for a change. That was my senior year in college. During second semester, every Friday, we had a happy hour beginning at noon, a couple of hours before our last class of the day, and ending in the late afternoon at a bar owned by a friend’s family. It was always elbow to elbow with people, most of them my classmates. We were enjoying our last times together after four years of closeness. That was also the year I was whacked in the head with a sign which said in capital letters DECIDE. I had to plan my future. That was a bit scary so I hedged my bets. I applied to law school, interviewed for a teaching job and applied to Peace Corps, my first and only choice. The rest were back-ups just in case. All three came through, but I accepted Peace Corps, something I had wanted for so long. I remember the day the mailman brought my special delivery acceptance letter. It was in January. I was elated. Life was scary and life was crazy when I was twenty-one.

“There’s milestones on the Dover Road.”

April 4, 2014

Sun, we have sun. Fern is even lying by the front door where the sun is streaming through the glass onto the floor. It is chilly still, but spring chilly, not winter cold. Today is the home opener for the Red Sox. The pre-game will have much hoopla as they will be receiving their World Series rings and the championship flag will be raised. My friends and I are watching together and will be eating baseball food as if we were at the park only we’ll be warmer and closer to the bathroom. I’ll be wearing my new Red Sox sweatshirt, a gift from my sister at Christmas. It’s red as befitting the team and the holiday.

When I was young, I didn’t give a whole lot of thought to the future. It always amazed me when people asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I didn’t know what I was going to do on Saturday let alone in ten or fifteen years. When I was twelve, I couldn’t wait to be thirteen, a teenager with all the rights and privileges which came with that magic number. When I turned thirteen, there wasn’t any magic. I was shocked. My sixteenth birthday, my sweet sixteenth birthday, was a total disappointment. We were on vacation with my aunt and uncle and my birthday was their anniversary so the cake had Happy Birthday and Happy Anniversary written across it. I hated it. I wanted fireworks and balloons as this was a significant birthday, a milestone, but, instead, it was a total bust. Eighteen didn’t mean much in those days. We were all waiting to be twenty-one, the big birthday with so much attached. My twenty-first birthday lived up to its hype. My boyfriend at the time gave me a magnum of champagne, and my friends took me out to dinner. They got drunk and forgot to pay the bill so I did. I registered to vote. According to the law, I was now an adult. I took that with mixed emotions.

The last big celebration was when I turned sixty. My sister flew out from Colorado, and the three of us, my two sisters and I, spent the day in Boston, took a tour of Fenway and went to the ballgame. That was my gift from them, and it was great one.

Birthdays are special to me, each one a milestone, another year of life well-lived. It’s not my birthday. I just got to thinking.


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