Sapless Sixteen

Sapless Sixteen

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.Β  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.

I don’t know who’s picture this is, since I kind of stole it off Google. Don’t sue me.

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. πŸ˜‚

HOWEVER, I requested that for my birthday this year, we go to Mountain Gate again. We did.Β  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)

32 thoughts on “Sapless Sixteen

  1. Sarah,

    This is great! I remembered those dolls from when I was much smaller, but sadly we didn’t have such a great tradition as that for our birthdays. And I love the self portrait. I don’t think I would want to mess with you.
    I got a bow for my birthday. People still mess with me. Sometimes. *lets out a quiet chuckle with a hint of mystery*



    1. *cackles* Sarah finally has a sword… *descends into evil laughter* What were my parents thinking? But sheesh. I pity those who mess with you. Bethia with a bow… *shivers* πŸ˜‰


    1. Well hey, we could all do with a little sap in our lives, even heartless cynics like myself. (Maybe ESPECIALLY heartless cynics like myself…) Just don’t get weepy on me over sentimental things like turning sixteen. πŸ™‚ Now character deaths, on the other hand… Something worth crying for.


  2. I’m coming up on my 16th birthday and am nearing the same conclusion about turning sixteen πŸ˜› These are some wonderful thoughts you have here!

    And your sword… that is seriously so awesome. I LOVE the last pic you have with it πŸ˜€


    1. Aw, thank you. I am told though that 18 is just as bad though, so apparently, we’re not out of the water yet. πŸ˜‰
      *sigh* The sword….I am having WAY too much fun with that thing…


  3. Happy (belated) birthday!!! Wow, sixteen already. *cries because I’m getting old* I wish you the best in your 16th year! (And btw, 18 is worse. Much worse. Just to give you something to look forward to. XD)
    Also, my parents got me a sword for my b-day too. *High-five for a fellow sword buddy*


    1. Thanks. I feel overwhelmed with the weight of your encouraging…encouragement. XD
      *high fives* Your birthday’s like, the day right before mine, and we both got swords. How perfect is that? You probably don’t remember this, but back when I first joined Kingdom Pen, we were lamenting the fact that neither of our parents would get us swords. So we started the theoretical charity, “Swords for Children”.

      Swords for Children conquered, my fellow Sword Buddy. πŸ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Nineteen years old is even worse than 18. Trust me. You are stuck on an odd, ugly number. Nineteen almost seems evil. I have to write the English word because the number word (is that a real thing?) is so ugly. I hear that after twenty, you can almost forget about birthdays, which might become a sweet relief. I’ve had enough for a while. πŸ™‚


  5. Your writing style is awesome. Do you try to make it hilarious and witty for your readers, or does it just come like that?


    1. Do my eyes deceive me…?

      DZHEZGAH! *tears up* A fellow Marylander!!! IN GAITHERSBURG! The coincidence of that is uncanny. I’m about a half hour from Gaithersburg.
      I feel so proud of my tiny state every time I meet someone online who also lives here… (Which is like, never. You’re the only one.) πŸ™‚


      1. OMW *mentally freaks out* THINE EYES DOTH NOT DECEIVE THEE!!!

        You’re the first blogger I know who’s also in MD!!!! What church do you go to? We go to Pilgrim Bible Presbyterian church in Kingsville (near Baltimore). It’d be SOOO cool if we could meet some time! Our church is actually hosting a guest speaker on Sept. 23-24 named Mike Riddle who’s a creation scientist. He’ll be talking about various creation-related apologetics and y’all are more than welcome to come!


        1. (AGH, I can’t believe I didn’t reply to this until right now. It got buried in my inbox. *glowers at email*)

          *cough* ANYWAY.

          We love creation scientists! That sounds pretty cool, and my family would love to come, BUT… (why does there always have to be a but?) We’re actually leaving on vacation tomorrow and won’t be back until next week. *sigh*
          Thanks for the invite though! Maybe some other time. πŸ™‚


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