Sunday, September 24, 2006

The Lucky Number

Remember when you were little and you said,
"When I become thirteen, I'll be able to do anything I want!"
You waited and waited and you dreamt of the blessed day. To you, thirteen was the age where you entered life, high school, and adolescence. You had dreams of kissing your first boy, sneaking out to go to parties, and standing up to rich and snobby girls. And your parents had told you,
"Don't get your hopes up. You'll have to cope with puberty, peer pressure, and exams."
But you wouldn't listen to them. You knew that when you became older, you would find a way to get around these things.
Three years later, you can't believe it! One more week and you will officially become a teenager. You plan your birthday party with care. You'll invite some of your friends and even some relatives. You'll order pizza and buy ice cream and cake and...Oh, Mom, I need gum! What for? I just do. And gum. Your friends say that they'll warp your locker with pink paper but you know they won't. They know you too well. Your grandparents call from Europe to wish you a happy birthday and they ask if the present has arrived yet, and you say no.
Saturday comes. You spend your day waiting for tomorrow to arrive. The minutes and hours seem endless! Finally, the day ends and you go to bed. You wake up the next morning and guess what...it's your birthday! You smile and look at your clock. It's 7:00 A.M. No time to go back to sleep now. You climb out of bed and pick your book to read for a few hours. 9:00 comes and you spring out of bed. First, you tell your parents,
"I'll go outside and then...PARTY!!!!"
After a few hours, the guests start arriving. Some of your friends call to say that they can't come. they have to baby-sit, or they're grounded, or that they have to go somewhere. Oh, well, it won't matter. The presents pile up, big and small, but all wrapped up...and the pool becomes filled. You step in too and you start to play with the other children. Like this, three hours go by. It becomes too dark to see, the guests say goodbye and you are left alone with your presents. You rip the wrapping paper apart, eager to see the wonders inside: clothes, books, games, and jewelry. Some of them you like, some of them you don't. But after all, it's the thoughts that count. You smile and your parents congratulate you and say,
"Now you're thirteen. How does it feel like to be a teenager?"
And you respond,
"It feels great!"
But lying in bed, you realize that it doesn't feel great. It doesn't feel like anything. You haven't changed, you haven't grown taller or matured. You're still the same old person, except older. You feel sad. Today, you are thirteen and one day older. But the world won't change. It'll stay the same.

That's what I think about twenty-three years later, when my daughter comes to the age of thirteen. After all the celebrations and parties, I go to her and tell her,
"Enjoy being thirteen. After this, many things will change you, emotionally and physically. this is the only year that is special. Enjoy it for a year. It's your lucky number."

No comments:

Post a Comment