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Thirtysomething: Reflections of a Birthday

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Sixteen years ago I turned sixteen. I had the most fun birthday party ever. My best friends (who are still my best friends today) and I donned thriftstore cast-off prom dresses and headed downtown to Underground Atlanta. We rented a hunter green Camry, ate at swanky restaurant, and then had a slumber party at my house. 

I know it never crossed my mind that sixteen years later I’d be thirty-two. Who thinks of things like that? Not sixteen-year-olds, that’s for sure. I’m pretty sure all I was thinking about was how I wish I had that green Camry for myself, the guys I was crushing on and if I was brave enough to get my driver’s license. 

I could have never imagined that sixteen years later I’d be nursing my sweet son and watching him fall asleep in my arms. I would have never imagined that laying next to my sleeping son, hearing my daughter whisper “Happy Birthday” all on her own would be the best birthday presents I’d ever have. 

When I turned sixteen it was my entire life. Now it’s only half of my life. Time is weird. But it’s good. And full. And deep. And sad. And happy. And fleeting. 

In sixteen more years my daughter will be nineteen. My son will be almost seventeen. I will be forty-eight. And just like my sixteen-year-old self, I can’t fathom it. But I look forward to the beautiful things my heart can’t imagine today but will cherish on that day.


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