Ok. In less than 1 week, Maya will likely be driving a car. Like, on a real road. On Thursday, May 5th, Maya will turn 16. And, just like that, I am the parent of a 16 year old daughter.
What the heck? I can pretty clearly remember being 16 years old. Up until about now, that wasn’t the case on her birthday. I mean, who remembers what happened when you were 11 years old, or even 15? Fine, I remember when I turned 10; I thought it was this hugely monumental thing because my age was 2 numbers, not just 1 anymore. I know, that barely even makes sense.
But, 16? I remember that like it was yesterday.
I remember my joint karaoke Sweet 16 with my best friend, Jana Karr, in my garage.
I remember my Mom’s white Honda Civic, with navy blue interior, that I used to drive.
I remember driving around in Christie Murphy’s car listening to SWV’s Anything on repeat.
I remember Derek Santis taking me for a ride on his jet ski on the Hudson and, literally, almost killing me.
I remember getting caught by my manager at Ben & Jerry’s for giving out ice cream cones to my friends.
I remember trying to convince my friends that I had a mole in the exact same place as Cindy Crawford by drawing one in with eyeliner.
I remember eating the exact same thing for lunch everyday: waffle fries with cheese sauce and a Chipwich.
I remember my soccer coach, Mr. Benkhe, calling me “Hoover” because I was our goalie and “sucked up soccer balls like a vacuum cleaner”.
I remember getting grounded for a whole month during my senior year, I just can’t remember which one of the 50 things it was that I got in trouble for.
I remember streaking, a lot, with our crew, “The Dawg Pound”.
I remember partying to “Jesse’s Girl”, but singing “Birchard’s Girl”, instead.
I remember teaching double-step aerobics at at Gold’s Gym and lifting on a rotation of “arms” one day, and “legs” the next.
I remember partying at Red Rock on the Hudson River, convinced every night that we were going to get arrested.
I remember when my Mom would pick me up after school and take me to either Taco Bell or Chinese food.
I remember my Dad catching me passed out from drinking one night and me trying to convince him that I wasn’t drunk…even though there was a bottle of liquor right next to me.
I remember when Jonathan Tuminaro broke my heart when he dumped me and I cried like a baby on my bedroom floor with my father who held me until I stopped.
I remember my parents coming to every one of our games, waving to me and my friends, and me pretending that I didn’t even know them. I was a terrible teenage daughter.
I remember writing down every piece of my outfit on a clipboard every single day for 3 years.
I remember being obsessed with The Bangles and pretending I was a member of the band in my bedroom while watching their concerts on my TV.
I remember sitting in the car in my driveway, waiting until exactly 1 minute before my curfew until I would finally walk in the house.
I remember getting caught forging Mrs. Bynum’s name on hall passes so I could skip classes.
I remember the three classes that I took the most out of: typing, photography and weightlifting.
I remember my best friend and my boyfriend being homecoming king and queen.
I remember my best guy friends: Brian Horan, Eric Birchard, Alfie de Sa, Matt Porpora, Drew Mucci, Matt Paino. I remember my girls: Missy Ross, Jenni Belcolore, Renata Del Grosso, April Neave, Julie Speziale.
I remember my entire life revolving around cheerleading: stressing over what bows to wear to the next game, fuzz-busting our sweaters, having “sneaker cleaning” parties for our Kaepa’s, competing at nationals that were aired on ESPN, stressing over what uniform we were wearing to school on game day, praying to God that we were sharing a bus with the basketball team, Catherine Fillard choreographing the most insane waves in our dances, and wanting to be on the top of stunts, but always being a base because I was too big.
High school was, hands down, the funnest time of my life. I loved it. Having said that, I am glad that Maya is nothing like I was when I was 16 years old.