We hopped in the car last Wednesday and drove up for an early birthday celebration with Kayla. Between school, work, sorority and everything else she has going on, there aren't a lot of openings on her social calendar but she was happy to abandon her chemistry book for a little time with us. I left home without my camera so had to settle for using the phone to record her as prepares to turn twenty.
Every year as she turns older I shake my head and wonder how she could be six or thirteen or whatever the appropriate age would be. It never seems possible but then time seems like a rocket the older you get. I suppose that's the rationale behind the saying that the first twenty years are the longest half of your life. Not that you're only going to live to be forty but that when comparing how long those first twenty years felt in relation to the next forty, fifty, sixty or more, it seems like half a lifetime. After all, that rocket is pretty slow leaving the ground when you're a kid so it seems as if the next birthday-summer vacation-Christmas will never arrive. Funny how that changes after twenty; you can't slow them down.
Birthdays that end in zeroes seem more monumental that others...that whole entering a new decade thing. Kayla seems delighted at the prospect of not being labeled as a teenager anymore and all the negative connotations that go with that. She did, however, proclaim that there was only one "good" birthday left: Turning 21. Grandpa allowed as how she was probably right. I offered that a 65th birthday was worth looking forward to for Medicare and Social Security but her dad argued that the way things were going, neither would likely be around when she attained that age. Sadly, he's probably right also.
We took her out to dinner, had some great conversation and just enjoyed having her all to ourselves for a few hours. It's such fun to see the delightful young woman she's become over these past twenty years, even if I am having a hard time believing they've gone by so quickly. One thing I do know: I'll feel the same way again this time next year.