My daughter and one of her friends share birthdays just four days apart. With their paths forking into different directions in the next two weeks, they decided to have one last bash to celebrate.
The group they hang out with are unique teenager in today's world. Instead of heading to a club, bar or places that others deem as 'cool', they chose to hang out here at home. Their friends gathered for movies, food and silly pictures. When the sun went down on a very hot day in Kansas, they formed teams and headed outside to play flashlight tag with the fireflies. And as evening turned into night, one young man brought out his guitar and sang as everyone gathered round.
There were golden friendships from years gone by, kids that my son and daughter have known and loved since they were small. And there were more recent friendships made in the years we've been here; all of them coming together at one time in one place to celebrate the exuberance of youth.
In the weeks ahead, everything changes. Seven of these beautiful, lively people will leave for college, branching off into new directions and forging new paths as they look to find who they are and where they fit in this wondrous world. Though having a house filled with eleven teenagers (two more came during the evening) requires patience, energy and a deaf ear at times, I wouldn't trade it for anything.
I know that all too soon the sound of silence will ring loudly within these walls.
Today I too, celebrate. And I savor these moments as they slip quickly by, capturing these days and for a time, stopping the clock.