Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Sweet Sixteen

We typically lay low on Memorial Day Weekend as both Dr. Fabulous and I are averse to traffic.  And crowds.  And spending money to sit in traffic and be tangled in crowds.  So we hang locally.  This year it was cook outs in the 'hood, parties with family, parties with friends, hanging at the pool and watching parades. 

I love our town.  I love the people we have met, the people we continue to meet, and everything about our new community.  I'm so happy here.

Making wishes with pennies at my brother's graduation party, and believing they'll come true. 

The girls loved the zipline at our friend's house.  We had a fun afternoon and evening at their cookout - slip and slides, ziplines, baby ducklings, water balloon fights and plenty of ice cold beer and delicious  food for the grown ups.

Every year Memorial Day weekend caps off with CB's birthday.  This year was a little extra special.  This year, was her Sweet Sixteen. 

I don't know how I suddenly have a sixteen year old daughter, but I do.  It doesn't seem like sixteen years ago that I sat in my townhouse on East West Street in Baltimore's hip Federal Hill area with a 3 day old floppy, sweet smelling little baby.  Her father and I lived in a narrow, three story, rented row home - a living room/kitchen combo on the first floor (the kitchen consisting of a tiny wedge of counter, a bar sized sink, room for a tiny 2-seater table, no dishwasher, and a 4 foot tall fridge), the half spiral staircase against an artsy, exposed brick wall leading to the second floor which held the only bathroom in the house as well as CB's bedroom.  The top floor was just one large room, the master bedroom, which didn't even have a closet.  It did, however, have hard wood floors and a fantastic view of the Inner Harbor's skyline at night. 

I was 26 years old, married for less than 3 months and a mother for less than 72 hours.  I was alone on this first night home from the hospital.  All I will say are the facts, without judgement:  my first husband was out until 4 am at a Bachelor Party for a friend on the night our new baby came home.  'Nuff said?  That small little anecdote sets the tone of the first several years of motherhood for me. Me and CB; alone, together.

Well, we are not alone any more! Sixteen years later I'll skip all the heartache and drama to say only this - Man, time really flies.  Let me also add - Man, I'm getting old.  Two huge cliche statements.  You'd think an aspiring writer could come up with something more poetic than that, but sometimes the cliche says it all. 

I can't believe my little girl, my first born, is Sweet 16.  So much has changed.  Even as I say those words I am struck by the oddity that while so much has changed for her, she personally has not changed very much.  CB is CB.

Despite mellowing behaviorally over the years (um, thank GOD!) who she was and how she acted at 3 is still pretty much her schtick at 16.  The one who has changed is me. I am the protagonist in her life story, and it feels totally narcissistic and self-serving to know this but it bleeds of too much truth.  In being her mother, I have been transformed.  In living through the different hardships that occurred during her childhood then post-divorce, I have been transformed.  Entering a new phase of my life, more deliriously loving and happy than I could have ever imagined, I am transformed while she stays constant, like my north star.

 Here's CB's birthday dinner.  Never would I have expected to snap this photograph on the day my eyes first lay upon her face.  Life is so funny that way. 

Only CB would prefer eating goldfish crackers and peanuts to birthday cupcakes.  Her sisters blew out her candles for her but I made them all make a wish for CB as they blew out the flames. 

What Sweet 16 could be complete without someone having a big giant explosive diarrhea?  And by "someone" I don't mean ME, though I was the lucky one who got to clean it up.  It's never a party until Mom cleans up pooh.  And gets stung by a wasp.  Not necessarily in that order. 

Somehow, somewhere, there is a wasp in our house.  All I know is apparently Pink thought she saw a wasp this morning, told her dad as he took her to the bus stop, he neglects to mention it to me, who unsuspectingly rummages through my purse which pissed off said wasp and next thing I know, a random, black flying blur darted out of nowhere with pure vengenence and stung me right on the inside of my arm.  I barely saw the thing and haven't seen it since.  It has been hiding out for hours just waiting to strike again.  So, I'm walking around my house, terrorized, in a full sweat suit with a hood up all day despite the 93 degree heat.  To add insult to injury, I'm officially sick with what I suspect is strep throat, but I can't be sure. At some point, I will go to the doctor.  In true "Alicia fashion," I will wait until I'm on death's door.

On that note, Happy Memorial Day to all ...

and Happy Sweet 16 to my CB. I won't have to worry about her borrowing the car keys, dating, or breaking curfew. Autism has its perks. 


Richelle said...

Happy Sweet 16 to CB!!! Love the pics of everyone! I share your feelings about so much changing, but my daughter's personality pretty much staying the same. She's a "Mama's girl", and has grown more loving through the years, but still has the same quirks she has had since toddlerhood. I'm hoping her behaviors diminish as well. They seem to have hit a plateau for now. Congrats on 16 years with your beautiful daughter!

erika said...

Happy birthday to sweet CB! It's so good to see you happy with your gorgeous girls and with a man who deserves you and appreciates the beautiful person you are.

kario said...

Happy, happy birthday! To both of you.
Such gorgeous eyes you all have, and what a way you have of celebrating everything so well. I hope the wasp sting and the strep throat clear up quickly and you can all get back to enjoying your weekends together.

By the way, I think you can erase the "aspiring" part from your phrase "aspiring writer." :)

DeeAnn said...

"Sweet" post. As always, I enjoy the photo's of your girls. You have an adorable family and reading this brought tears to my eyes.

Mama Deb said...

Happy birthday, CB!!!

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