Wednesday, March 23, 2016

At what point do your birthdays suddenly become a lot less exciting?

I think it's when you turn 23. And I'll tell you why:

Every birthday you have from 1 to 20 is exciting because you're a kid, and kids get excited about their birthdays for various reasons (even 20-year-old kids). That's a given.

Then you turn 21 and that's cool because ADULTHOOD. Self-explanatory.

Twenty-two is also pretty good, especially for college kids, because it's generally the age when you graduate with your bachelor's degree. Life is about to begin in earnest and you can feel it.

And then you turn 23 and...well, nothing. You're either in grad school or out working. And 23 is just a really, really nondescript age. There's nothing vaguely interesting or special about it. It's even a prime number, for gosh sakes.

Twenty-three just kind of sits there. And I think for many people, it's the first nearly meaningless birthday they experience.

All of which is to mention that my daughter Elissa turns 22 tomorrow, and she's on track to graduate from college sometime this year, so there's that. It is perhaps her last exciting birthday, and I don't even know if she's excited about it because I don't see her very much. I'll have to ask her.

Every Elissa birthday makes me reflect on the passage of time because she's our oldest and therefore is always the first among our kids to turn a given age. I suppose the next time her birthday will really, really affect me will be when she turns 30 because...well, by then, there will be no denying the fact that we her parents are old. You can't have a 30-year-old and be a true young'un.

So until then, I'm going to hold on for dear life to her 20-something birthdays. Even the boring ones.

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