Exactly 17 years ago today (it was a Friday then, too), we held M's fourth birthday party in the waiting lounge of the maternity ward of the hospital. There were no candles on the cake his grandparents brought---because hospital---but there was ice cream. I sat on one of those uncomfortable hospital couches dressed in a Johnny with two three-day-old babies propped on a nursing pillow, nursing. Curry had done M's birthday shopping, because it was more than I could face at nearly nine months pregnant with 14 1/2 pounds of baby (and online shopping barely existed yet!). He'd bought him Hotwheels and Hotwheels cases, clear plastic boxes with hinged lids, a six-pack of scotch tape, and Peter Pan and Wendy, the original unabridged version, which he'd read out loud several times over the next year.M turns 21 today. Twenty-one!!! It's a significant birthday, because it's the one you really don't want to spend with your parents. (I remember my 21st. It wasn't pretty.) That's not a problem, since M's in France, on the very last week of his Grand Tour. I suppose the big 21 is a bit anticlimactic in Europe, where the drinking age is 18. And I'm pretty sure that's a good thing. (I was going to go on a digression here about white guys too young to order a beer being allowed to buy weapons of mass murder, but I want to keep it positive.)
This week, E and Z both took---and passed---their driving tests, which means I'm relieved of my jitneying duties, and also that I'll never go anywhere again because one or the other of them will have my car (and no doubt be fighting over which of them gets to drive) from here on out. Last Saturday, they attended their school's prom.
And on Tuesday, they turned 17. I didn't have to do much to get ready for their day---E didn't want any gifts and made his own plans with friends, and Z didn't want any plans and asked for Hawaiian shirts and expensive cologne---but still I experienced the Pavlovian early May panic I go through every year thinking about three impending birthdays (aka Second Christmas). (I'm already getting ready to panic next year when when we'll again have two proms, three birthdays, and three graduations.)
The twins wanted pie, not cake, so I made them two beautiful tarts---one triple berry with ginger strudel and one lemon---only I left the tarts in the oven waaaay too long, because the filling didn't look set and I couldn't/wouldn't trust the cooking time. We ended up with very overdone pie. I know there's a metaphor in there for me, but it comes a year too early; I couldn't send them on their way now if I wanted to (and they're definitely not set).