Erin had her 16th birthday party last night.  Her birthday is not until the 18th but she’s scheduled to go on a mission trip during spring break next week and will be away from home on the big day.  I wish she had wanted to have it after spring break but that’s the way these things go.

We had a house full; mostly the dramanaters from the cast party of a few weeks ago.  As such they were all well mannered (although quite noisy).  Mel had scored some leftovers from a party earlier in the week that had been catered by Olive Garden and so I went by the restaurant and picked up some salad and breadsticks to go with it and we had lots of smiles of recognition.  Teenagers always like restaurant food that they are familiar with and everybody recognizes Olive Garden. 

I took the opportunity to mine my recent archive of scannings and was able to put together a slide show of pictures which included many people in the room so that was a hit.  Everybody likes to see pictures of themselves. 

After that it was just one long noisy chatfest.  At one end of the room was a Guitar Hero competition and at the other end was a noisy game of Catchphrase.  Guitar Hero could use some refinement:  if you are to take turns you usually have to force it.  There’s nothing in the game that prompts everybody to give the guitars to the next guy.

Erin and her friends have reached a point at which they like to have parties but don’t care so much about the presents.  Getting a gift for a friend is a big pain so they just show up at these things with a card with $10 in it and call it good.  Everybody is quite happy with that so it’s fine with me too.  One or two friends actually went shopping for something which was nice.  They were super concerned about the fit and whether Erin liked the gift or not and the value of such a gift is really in the concern rather than the gift itself.  Erin at least understands that and so things worked out well.

The only negative moment was when a bench was accidentally tipped over and Erin’s phone happened to be nearby.  The bench landed on her phone and broke it to the extent that it was unusable.  Phones are extremely important to teenagers nowadays and this was no small affair.  But she got over it.  We keep all our old ones and she just went and got a spare.

She pointed out that as soon as she returns from spring break, she wants to go to the driver’s license place and take her test and get her license.  As a result, that meant that yesterday was the last time I will have to drive her to school in the morning.  That made me stop and think.

Another milestone.  One more event that signals a new phase.  One more step out of childhood.  It makes me pensive but I try not to dwell too long on these things.  It’s the way things are supposed to happen; it’s normal and a normal life is a good one.