Saturday, March 29, 2014

Seventeen: Not Sixteen, Not Eighteen

Yesterday was my birthday, once again. I am officially one year older. Whoop de doo. I don't feel like I'm one year older; in fact, I feel like these days have just been other days, no different from the ones that I have been living when I was sixteen.
"Sixteen going on seventeen!"
Seventeen is a boring age, though. It's not sixteen and it's not eighteen, but that awkward age in the middle. When I was sixteen, I was in Florida celebrating my Sweet Sixteen. Sixteen was more exciting because everyone made it so. It's a bigger age in our culture (for whatever reason). It's also the age when I was legally allowed to apply for my learner's permit, although I did wait.
Eighteen will also be a big deal, I imagine. An even bigger one. It won't have the same ornate celebrations, but still. I'll be a legal adult. I won't be able to drink or gamble, but legally, I'll be on my own and be able to do just about everything else. It will be the year that I go off to college (although not right away). It is the year that my mom is anticipating now, why she is having such a hard time with seventeen.
My mom is completely devastated over the fact that I'm seventeen now. Somehow, sixteen wasn't as bad for her: she still had two years left with me. Yet now that I'm seventeen, she knows that she only has one year left with me (well, one year and a few months, actually). And that's hitting her hard, even harder than her own fiftieth birthday hit her. My father seems to be pretty neutral about it (at least from what I've seen, but I'm sure he's different when he's alone with my mother and he'll be freaking out when it actually sets in that I'm leaving).
As for me? It feels like I'm just seventeen. I'm sure eighteen will feel different, although it is only when I set off to college that I truly feel independent.

And just that

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