"Home is the place where, when you have to go there, they have to let you in."

-- Robert Frost

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

sixteen reasons to celebrate ... or panic

At least it feels that way.

In the world of Mormon teens ... sixteen is the biggest birthday. Ever.

Most begin their dating years.
Driving brings more freedom.

It's as if this girl stood on the starting line of life as the gun signaled the blitz and I'm left standing in a dust cloud wondering what just happened.

First thing on Friday morning, she entered the church building for early morning seminary (that's a before school scripture study class she takes every morning). Her cute friends had plastered the building with these.

There were more at the high school.

She couldn't clear them all and on Sunday, this one was found still in the church ... only this time with phone numbers and notes from the young men her age in the other ward that shares our building.

Yeah that smile was bigger and bigger by weekend's end.

Even when playing around with the Nutella. If those boys could only see her now ;)

I was afraid that we would be insufficient celebrators since Friday night was also the opening night of her high school play Singin' In The Rain. She was so darn excited for the stage and it was so well done, we couldn't help but have a great time. 

Except for Grant apparently, who wanted to climb lighting scaffolding rather than pose for pictures.

We filled the fun bus with her fellow cast member friends and hit Waffle House for a late night celebration.

This cute, cute boy sang a birthday song just for her.

Yep, she was pleased as punch at that. I love those music/dance/theater kids.

In the quiet of the car following the teenage hurrah ... I heard her open a gift basket she had gotten from one of the other boys who is a great friend. Her "oh my gosh, oh my gosh, OH MY GOSH!" nearly made me drive off the road.

He'd put together clues to a mystery date to come. Her very first date. Champion of the day.

I couldn't have given her anything to trump that if I had wanted to.

And getting her to bed that night was a little like Audrey Hepburn in My Fair Lady, singing "I could have danced all night" and floating around the bedroom.

Sunday, cousins came bringing desserts to celebrate. We are so excited that these guys moved near us last week. We've never had family close. We may love them so much that they run from our smothering.

Monday, I picked her up in a freaky short blizzard of a storm as we headed over to the DMV for her drive test appointment.   

I would have grabbed a picture of the sheer amounts of snow coming down and covering the road but I was gripping the door handle with both hands whilst giving her a crash course on first-time snow driving. I was sure they would postpone the drive and kill her enthusiasm. 

Sometimes the long wait at the DMV can be beneficial, as all signs of the crazy-short blizzard abated by the time our number was called. Still ...  she was a little frazzled as she took off with the test administrator.

Yesterday morning I felt like I was hovering indefinitely in that moment right before a band-aid gets ripped off.

Go ahead.
No .. wait.
I'm ready.
No .. just a second.
Okay, do it ....
No stop ...
Let's count to three ..

And then I let her take my non-coat wearing crew to school.

And then I sat here biting my nails for a text telling me she'd arrived.

Longest fifteen minutes. Of. My. Life.

At dinner time still waiting for her to get in from tennis team, Newel stood beside me telling me she'd be fine. As she swung in at the store to get that one thing I needed, I began to think this might just be okay.

Until I thought about that boy ... her same age ... picking her up on Friday night .... taking her off with him in his car ... and my ears were ringing with the sounds of the starting gun ... and the taste of dust in my mouth.

But today, I'm more relaxed.

See? Celebration and panic all rolled into one ;)

Happy Birthday, Celia. We love everything about who you are and who you are becoming. I hope you enjoy every minute of the sweetness of sixteen!


  1. I read this post, flung myself down on the bed, and whined, "My siiisters are having a paaarty in Colorado and I'm stuck in STUPID Southern Califooornia!"

    Jess, in his infinite wisdom, said, "How can you even want to be in ColorAdo if you can't even say it right?"

    Yep. That fixes things right up, thanks. Still. Jealous.

  2. Ahhh...I still remember the first time Cindy Lynn drove on her own...

  3. I am scared now. Random thoughts from various parts of your post: As a former music/dance/theater gal - we are a fun bunch and quite lovable. I love the mystery date gift....I want one! Tell Celia she looks super pretty in that retro finger curled hair-do....like modern pretty...not, hey she must be in some kind of show...pretty. The cousins look a little shell shocked, don't they? While I am looking forward to D-man making store runs for me, I am not totally sure it will be worth the heart attack I suffer whilst awaiting his return, you know? Not that I don't trust his driving skills....it is just everyone else on the road I don't trust with my baby.