Saturday, July 31, 2010
It's Birthday Season at Casa De Kline
Personally, summer is also very busy for me because it's a parade of birthdays and other significant dates. It's hard to keep up with all of it!
Dylan Turns 19
It's always a bit of a shock for me when I compare where Dylan is at his age to where I was at the same age.
At 19, I held two part time jobs (one was selling shoes on commission at the wonderful but now defunct Castner Knotts department store and the other was running my own computer pc-clone sales and services company, plus mowing lawns on weekends) and was constantly trying to put a buck in my pocket. Being dirt poor will do that to you.
Dylan, while he has a great job at a very good restaurant, is much more laissez-faire about money. Easy come, easy go. Money was such a big issue to me that I willingly stayed with my parents so I could save on rent and food. Here's a picture (at left) of us packing up his stuff to move into his new apartment - something I practically had to wrestle him to the ground to do.
Like Dylan, I also entered into a relationship at almost the exact same age that changed the entire course of my life. Dylan's girlfriend, Rachel, is a wonderful young woman who I simply can't speak highly enough of. She is good in so many ways. And she's also very good for Dylan. Her talents and characteristics compliment his in all the right ways. They both seem to have a good grip on what long-term commitment really means and understand, in many ways better than I did, what a positive and supportive relationship is all about.
Seventeen is the golden age of high school. I was a little older than Emily for the same grade levels, because I had one of those late birthdays that was right on the line where your parents could send you in early (and you'd be the youngest kid in all of your classes) or late (and you'd be the oldest kid in all of your classes).
My mom chose the latter. So, I turned 18 just a month into my senior year. Emily with her birthday in mid July, otoh, gets her entire senior year as a 17-year old.
Seventeen was an awesome year. The only worries were hangin' out with friends, keeping your grades up, and making decent scores on the big tests like the ACT and SAT. Of course, there was some time in there for part-time jobs. But that was on jobs where I got to hang out with friends to earn money to spend while hanging out with friends. And, in my case, there was some time in there for activities like theater, which was also all about hanging out with friends. It's all good. =^)
I hope, sometime during this year, that someone will invent a Nerf Car, so that you frequent fender-benders won't make a bit of difference to the body of the vehicle. Please - no more wrecks or tickets!
In my mind, Katie is still a tiny little tot. Whenever I pause to think about it, I'm always surprised how tall, articulate, and smart she is. She'll be taller than her mom by next year, I'd bet. She's going in to the 4th grade next week and she's doing great.
We've had to put a couple new rules in place to keep up with Katie. First, now critter caught in the yard or creek can spend the night in the house. We've had to many salamanders, frogs, toads, lizards, and turtles turn their toes up to the daisies while spending the night in a Glad-lock tub. She enjoys catching and studying these little critters so much that I wouldn't be surprised if she grew up to be a biologist.
Second, we've had to pull back on the frenetic activities inside the house. Your nerves fray pretty fast when someone is constantly bouncing on an indoor trampoline, pogo stick, couch, or basset hound. But, hey, if I had that kind of energy, I probably would too.
Katie also seems to be outgrowing a bit of her shyness. I've seen her talk to strangers without coaxing and play with kids she'd just met. She was so mature and responsible with the child of a visiting friend recently that I wondered if she was trying to impress someone. She assured me it was "just cause she wanted to". Wow! My little girl is growing up so fast!