I'm the first one to admit: Liesl Von Trapp (from the Rodgers and Hammerstein movie) is not my role model. Something about the way she sings, "timid and shy and scared am I of things beyond my ken," I think.
Nonetheless, I consider it my right, as a sixteen year old girl, to sing "I am sixteen going on seventeen to my heart's content... and maybe even a little more.
Despite the fact that I've sung it constantly all year, now that I only have four more days to do so in its most truthful sense, I feel cheated. It can't really have been a year, can it?
I turned sixteen at WA state TeenPact (shameless plug!) last year. All my cabin friends sang to me and surprised me with streamers. In the morning Ophie came into my cabin (we had to sleep in different cabins... it was tragic) and gave me a copious bag of Reese's and handed over a present bag that mom had instructed her to give me on my birthday morn. Starting a day off with presents is always good.
I was astonished to find a beautiful birthday cake waiting for me in the dining hall. Three of my fellow students (all male) came up to me very sweetly with a piece of said cake. It had large quantities of white frosting.
The boys offered me the cake so cordially that I was taken aback by their consideration. I took a bite and made a big deal over how scrumptious it tasted.
Later I found that I had disappointed the boys: they had dumped salt in the middle of the piece(which I hadn't eaten all the way... you can only have so much cake for breakfast) and I didn't "get" to taste it. Thank you, gentlemen. You know who you are.
Someone got up a group card and all the students signed, each leaving me a personal message. At the capitol, the entire group sang me happy birthday.
Mom came to pick Ophie (who was also attending TeenPact) and me up. I hooped in the car to find brightly frosted chocolate cupcakes, one for each of us. After lots of hugs (I hadn't seen my family in four whole days, mind you =D) we munched them down. Each one had a paper parasol and a decorative glass button. I think mine was a ladybug.
We returned from Olympia (and TeenPact) at around twilight. Rain was hitting the ground with the force unique to Washington drops.
I remembered feeling very... whimsical (Oh, Gray never feels whimsical), feeling that every moment is so precious. I felt old, which is, as LM Montgomery says, the first indication that you are actually very young. I didn't really wanted to leave fifteen behind, because fifteen seemed like a number with lots of extra growing room. Nonetheless, I was sure, to quote LM Montgomery again, that I was coming to "an epoch of my life" (needless to say, later in the evening I read my favorite passages of Little Women and even Anne of Green Gables. I'm afraid I'm in a sort of an "Anne" mood right now. My "Jo" spirit will come to me presently.)
So I went for a walk in the pouring rain and was otherwise sentimental. I wore my green trench coat and probably my cream beret. =D I won't bother telling the thought processes of a sentimental fifteen/sixteen girl taking a birthday walk in the pouring rain.
I still feel old. Seventeen feels big and ridiculous.
Twelve months ago I didn't think I could possibly grow into a number as big as sixteen. Now sixteen seems normal. I'm still not sure I want to grow into seventeen... but I don't really have much choice, do I? Now I know that I will grow into it, and then eighteen, and then nineteen.
Sixteen has been an adventure, which is about as good a thing as can be said about any year. I'll come up with a list of marvelous things (and hopeless misadventures) I've done at age sixteen when I'm in a list-y mood, but we've already established that I'm in an "Anne" mood.
Back off and let me revel in it. It hasn't happened in a while. =D
To finish the "Birthday day," I came back inside delightfully wet to find yet another cake. Gabby and Audrey and Ophie were all there. Dear, dear friends. We stayed up too late and watched Brigadoon. Good, good movie.
And I was sixteen. It was old.
Seventeen is old.
I just remember that LM Montgomery quote. When you feel that you are very old, it's a sure sign that you are actually very young.
I felt old last year and I feel old this year. It's okay.