too old for 21sts?


Originally uploaded by cafedave.

Am I getting too old to go to 21st? Almost certainly. The first 21st I attended as a guest was probably 12 years ago now; many of the people whose 21st I’ve been to are now parents themselves: some even brought their children to this party!

This particular 21st is noteworthy because it’s the 21st of the youngest child in a family that I have spent a lot of time with this past decade; they’ve been a great encouragement in a lot of ways – I’ve even had the privilege on occasion of encouraging them. The 21st of the youngest child is something that’s been long anticipated, and when it finally arrives, it brings with it great happiness, and some sadness – a reminder of the absence of one person with whom we shared the anticipation of the day.

Lyn, thanks for inviting me to your 21st. I’m glad you’ve reached another milestone, and I hope there are many more birthdays for you. The specially-written song that your friends performed almost topped the dramatic reading of copacabana that forever captured the spirit of the 21st for me.

Going to a 21st (for we oldies, at least) brings back memories of that time of life where you are surrounded by possibilities – you’ve made some of the decisions that will shape your life, but not all of them; in some ways, you haven’t really learned much yet about pain (although the pain that you’ve experienced to date seems far worse than what follows – I think coping mechanisms improve with age); you have fewer time constraints, and so can be a better listener. It’s worth continuing to go to 21sts, I think, to be reminded of these possibilities, and to be encouraged to keep showing those character traits that were perhaps more obvious in your own youth.

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