—The Teen Years—
My niece, whom I live with, turned thirteen.
We celebrated her birthday today by having five of her best friends over and going out to eat at “Olive Garden.”
After that, we went to “Urban Air,” which is one of those trampoline places for kids.
Mom paid for Olive Garden, so I figured I’d pay for Urban Air.
“Yes, Five tickets for these teenagers and… it looks like I’ll need to get five pairs of ‘Urban Air’ socks, as well, please.”
“Yes, Sir, $98.50, please. Cash or Credit Card?”
I stared at the young employee in a daze.
“You say $98.50?”
I mumble to myself, “I knew I should’ve paid for Olive Garden…”
I hand her my debit card.
I look at my niece and say, “This is my birthday gift to you. Happy Birthday.”
She smiles, and that’s all the thanks I need.
The kids run off and start jumping on the trampolines.—Mom, and I watch.
I drove us back home after we finished at Urban Air.
On the way home, the girls were acting just like thirteen-year-old boys, really. I guess at that age; kids are just kids.
“That wasn’t me!”
“Ew. Who did that?”
“Someone Cut the Cheese!”
“Roll the windows down, please!”
“I’m not rolling the windows down until the person who did that confesses.”
“Oh, please. It’s killing me!”
“Whoever did it, ‘fess up, and I’ll roll the window down.”
“Okay, okay, it was me! Roll ’em down!”
“Okay, I’ll roll ’em down.”
On the way home, we made a pit stop because one of the girls had forgotten to get her bag of clothes. So, of course, All the girls get out and go inside with her.
As I watch all the kids run inside their friend’s home, I think to myself, “It was just yesterday that I was that age.”
I don’t think I truly believed that I would ever get old. Yet, here I am.
We finally arrived back home.
All of the girls are running through the house. It sounds like they’re going to fall thru the upstairs floor and land on my bed. But they’re having the time of their life tonight.
In just a few more years, they won’t dare ‘fess up to doing anything like “Cuttin’ the cheese.” No. For they will become ladies.
They will wear Nail Polish and Lip Stick and wear dresses.
Or, maybe they won’t wear any of that stuff. They’ll still become ladies, though. It’s inevitable.
Not tonight, though.
Tonight, they’re still kids. Playing Chase, Hide-and-Go-Seek, eating Dorito’s, and saying things like, “Pull my finger.”
I think she had an excellent Thirteenth Birthday.