I am listening to the chatter of Parker and her buddies downstairs. They are commiserating about their middle schools and talking a mile a minute to make up for lost time. She wanted to celebrate this birthday as she has so many before – with her friends, eating, laughing, gabbing, watching movies and likely getting very little sleep.
All three of my kids have celebrated milestone birthdays this year. Grant turned 18 in March and is actually very excited to be able to exercise his right to vote in this historic election. Sam hit 21 in May which feels so huge. She can drink (legally), of course, but more than that she is on the verge of her adult life and all that that entails. She is equal parts excited and stressed about the whole prospect, I think. And today, my youngest, sweet Parker is 13. Another teen in the house. We did okay with the first two so I am hopeful.
They all had these milestone days without their dad. Which sucks.
He would have loved talking to Grant and getting worked up over a certain presidential candidate. He would have loved toasting 21 with his first child. And he would have celebrated the start of teen-dom with an enthusiasm that only he could bring.
And I would love to have had my partner there for all these occasions. Now, every celebration is given the reverence it is due, but there is also a tinge of the bittersweet. I wonder if that will always be true. I imagine it might be.