The doctor was having a bad day, the day I was born. All he was trying to do was have an intelligent conversation with one of his nurses, and some random guy insisted on interrupting him every five minutes to whine about some lady who was in labor. For pity sake, who did the guy think he was? After all, he was a doctor. It wasn’t his job to birth children. Sheesh.
That, kids, is how I was born.
It would be romantic to say I was born under a willow tree. It would be epic to say I was born in the wild as some outlaw vigilante. It would be just plain cool to say I was born in Rivendell. But no; I had to be born in a hospital that smelled of LesToil, by a doctor that didn’t want to.
If you haven’t guessed it already by my long reminiscent spiel, I’ll inform you myself: Yesterday was my birthday. 16th, to be precise. Which not only means that I’m legally of age to be married, (according to 1700s standards, at least), but this is the first thing I’ve written as a 16 year old. I was going to give you a Plerp story, but then I decided that a first-16-year-old-post ought to have a little more…dignity…than Plerp. So here we go.
Everyone always asks if it “feels different” to be Sweet 16, even though they know that obviously, you feel exactly the way you did yesterday. I am aware of that, and yes, I feel no more sixteen than I did last week. However:
In a way, I do feel different.
Let me explain.
It used to be a Baran tradition to go to this restaurant called Mountain Gate on someone’s birthday. It’s sort of like Cracker Barrel, in the sense that it has a store thing in front with all sorts of knick knacks and junk. Well, they have these glass dolls, where each doll represents an age, 1-16. Whenever it was Anna or my birthday, Mom would take us to look at these dolls, and we’d figure out which one our new age had promoted us to.
The dolls stop at 16. And I would always look at that 16 year old—that graceful, beautiful, elegant lady—and imagine what it would be like when I would finally get to be that doll.
(You know you’re young when 16 seems the epitome of adulthood. HA.)
When we kickstarted our whole adventure in Canada five years ago, we couldn’t go to Mountain Gate anymore. And between traveling and having other plans already, we haven’t gone for a birthday in a long time, even after we moved back to Maryland. Some traditions you keep forever.
Mountain Gate wasn’t one of them.
*tries to keep a straight face* *fails* I hope you were playing overly dramatic music in your head for that one. 😂
HOWEVER, I requested that for my birthday this year, we go to Mountain Gate again. We did. And I asked to look at the dolls, just for old time’s sake. So we did that too. And I realized something:
I was finally the 16 year doll.
After all this time, without even realizing it, that doll has been creeping up on me. Now, she’s finally here.
And you know, there’s something about her that affects me deeply. Maybe it’s because I spent most of my childhood looking at her and wondering what it would be like to be her. Thinking that when I reached that doll, I would be a grown up. Maybe it’s because this doll is the last one. They don’t go beyond 16. There will be no more anticipation for the one I’ll be next. That part of my growing up is finished forever.
Maybe it’s because something about that doll, and what she represented in my past, screams innocence.
I am by no means grown up. Sheesh, I’m the one who runs around chasing bees, and writes medieval middle-school stories, just for fun. But a chapter of my life has ended. The dolls are finished, and there’s a whole new shelf ahead of me, full of who knows what.
So yeah, in a way, I do feel different. I feel heavier, knowing that I’ve moved on. I feel more responsible, knowing that I’m not a child anymore, despite not yet being an adult.
And I feel kind of excited, thinking about that unknown shelf. A lot of things happened in sixteen years. A lot more is coming. Ten years ago, I never thought I would be an adoptive Canadian. Two years ago, I never thought I would actually write a book. Two months ago, I never thought I would get a sword.
But here I am. Sixteen years to my name, and still a lifetime of adventure ahead.
Okay. My ramble is officially over. But let’s not go calling it a Sweet Sixteen, because I am by no means sweet. How about a Snarky Sixteen? Snotty Sixteen? Sapless Sixteen?
Even though this post is kind of sappy… Sheesh, I’m on a roll. Two deep ponderings in a row.
I will salvage what is left of it with a sword. Guys, my parents finally got me the closest thing to a sword they could find that wasn’t $300. Best. Parents. EVER.
That was supposed to be a fearsome battle cry.
Self-photography at its finest. I call it “Shield Maiden with a Plaid Shirt”. Or “Edmund Pevensie Beating the Snot out of Trumpkin”.
Anyway, carry on with life. May your day be as sapless as this post, and may your sixteenth always be snotty.
~Sarah (Shield Maiden) (With a Plaid Shirt)