Transitional Birthday

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Transitional Birthday

I stare blankly at myself in an old and dirty mirror. Every year I somehow end up in my parents’ bathroom on the day of my birthday. Today is my 13th birthday. As I stare into the mirror, I realize that I am scared to grow up. I can’t imagine life as a grown up. On top of that, my parents walk into their bathroom where I am standing and exclaim, “Wow! Marlee looks so grown up! She is getting so old!” My dad wraps his arms around me and gives me a huge bear hug. Tears slowly roll down my cheeks as I begin to sob.

I remember back to the good old days, elementary school years, when life was careless and free. All the neighbor kids would gather in my yard and we would make up the most random games to play. Sometimes we would even set up our own Olympics. Now many people may be familiar with the real Olympics, but our version was a whole different story. Two people would be on bikes and they would race around the block trying to beat the other person to the center of the block. We would play this for hours. The person who won the most races got the gold medal which was a cookie. We would also play the ultimate game of hide-and-go-seek; it was hide-and-go-seek tag. Because of all the tagging and pushing, there were neighbor kids on the ground every five seconds, that’s how intense it was.

Sometimes the girls and I in the neighborhood would get together and put on dress up clothes and the most hideous make-up ever. After getting beautiful, we would sing into these fireplace utensils (used to move the fire wood) to song we all know for example, “Shape of my Heart” by Backstreet Boys. Sometimes we would even tape it and watch it later (our performances were definitely a sight to see).

My dad was always part of the fun action. When I was three, he would give me the best horsy rides ever. All I would have to say was, “Daddy, horsy!” And he would know right away what I wanted. I would ride on his back, while he was crawling with me on top of him, for hours. I would laugh and laugh and have the best time in the world. The horsy rides always made me happy and the best part was at the end of it all my dad would say, “Whoa, I’m tired, you piggy.” My come back would be, “I’m not a piggy, daddy!”

As my mom hands me a Kleenex and I settle down, she explains to me how growing up will be a fun experience. She tells me about her teenage years and all that she experienced in her life. And of course as every mom does, she brought up marriage. She says how she can’t wait to see me get married and have a family. I just reply, “Okay mom, okay I get it.” It is then that I realize that growing up won’t be so bad. I will get to start my own family and own a house. I will get to experience new things and learn the values of life. I also realize that I just grew up a little in my parents’ bathroom because when I was a kid I was scared but as a teenager I am excited and ready.

The last thing my mom and dad say is, “All these things that happen today and tomorrow and in three years will shape who you are in the future.” As they walk out, I stare in the mirror once again, and this time I don’t see a child I see a teenager growing up.





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