Tonight my oldest daughter Alexis is celebrating her 17th birthday at home with a group of her closest friends. Some of these girls she’s known since kindergarten, others from middle school, and a few from her first few years in high school. Regardless of how long they’ve all been friends, each and every one of them holds a special place in my heart. One of the amazing blessings of being a mother is watching your children grow up and develop friendships that could last a lifetime.
This is the first year she won’t be having all of her friends sleep over. I refer to our home as the Fishbowl or the home of Charlie in the Chocolate Factory, because of its location amongst the city’s condos. Every window is a spy glass into our lives for the surrounding yuppie community. Not to mention the absence of a room large enough to house 17 sleeping teenage girls. And I think we all realistically know 17 year old girls don’t actually sleep at sleepovers!
Times have changed, or have they?
In my day, my parents would have freaked out about a group of us sneaking out in the middle of the night. Now social media poses a much greater risk. Boys can be invited live to the party in unlimited numbers, without actually having to leave the comfort of their own private bedrooms. And cameras can capture every moment, suspended in space for an eternity.
I’m reminded of the time my parents allowed me to have a small backyard party for one of my middle school birthdays. They spent the night peering out the upstairs bedroom windows, as people came and went, and cars arrived with boys much older than myself. Tonight I’m reminded that payback is a thing, and I my friends am living it! Hidden away in my bedroom, I’m hoping that the last two years of being an outstanding neighbour will make all the difference in whether or not my own neighbours decide to report me for the noise violation disrupting their peaceful summer Friday night.
Every year Alexis’ birthday is a reminder of one of the three best Mother’s Day gifts I ever received. As difficult as being a parent can be, especially now that I’m on my own, I’m reminded that it’s these moments that make life worth celebrating!
Happy Mother’s Day Weekend (Sunday cannot come soon enough!)