C.C. Hunter lives in Spring, Texas, where she's at work on her next Shadow Falls novel. Born at Midnight is her first young adult novel. To learn more, visit her on the Web at www.cchunterbooks.com.
Party! Party! It’s Birthday Time.
It’s coming up soon. Somebody is going to have a birthday. And I don’t mean Lucia, though, a little birdie did tell me that’s happening, too. (Happy Birthday, girl; may the day be everything you want it to be.) I’m not talking about myself, either. I’m talking about Kylie Galen. Kylie is the heroine in my Shadow Falls series and she’s about to turn seventeen.
Because I’m a “pantser,” meaning I write by the seat of my pants, and I don’t plot out all the details that happen in each book that far in advance, I’m not sure if it will happen in book four or book five. I’m still trying to figure out what my two heroes, Lucas and Derek, will give her for a birthday present. What will her birthday wish be? Will Della and Miranda throw her a party? There’s a lot I haven’t figured out about Kylie’s big day. But I do know it’s going to be special. Birthdays should be special.
I know it sounds silly to say that birthdays are anniversaries in which we should celebrate our lives. (Well, maybe it doesn’t sound silly, but it does sort of sound like a Hallmark card.) But silly or not, what’s wrong with finding a reason to celebrate? I personally think any reason to have a party, to treat yourself a little special, and have a slice of something sweet with icing on it, is a perfectly good idea. Make it chocolate and it’s a great idea!
Not only that, but birthdays are often viewed as markers, sort of the stepping stones that lead us to important achievements in our lives.
- You have to have a sixth birthday before you start first grade.
- Your thirteenth birthday makes you a real teenager.
- At fifteen, we usually get our permit to drive, and at least for my parents, fifteen was the magic number when they let me double date.
- At sixteen, we can actually get behind the wheel of a car and go to the mall or a friend’s house without a chaperone. We can also be the chauffeur who carts our siblings to and from school and to all their other events. But it’s still special.
- At eighteen, we can vote and no longer need an adult’s consent.
- At twenty-one, suddenly we are the friend all our younger friends call to pick up the beer or wine. Hopefully, never in excess.
But when you get to twenty-five and thirty, suddenly those stepping stones no longer exist. You can do anything at twenty-two that you can do at twenty-nine. Not that it makes birthdays any less special. Oh, I know that a lot of women hate to be reminded of their age, and I’ve been there, too. But I don’t hate them nearly as much as some.
The truth is that each year should be celebrated because as each year passes us by, we acquire a little more wisdom. No, it’s not like you wake up on the big day to find a new pouch of knowledge tucked away in your brain that hadn’t been there the day before. But as time ticks by, we discover things about ourselves, about the world around us, and about the people we love.
We learn that some of the things we wished for as we blew out those birthday candles were, well, not so great after all. The guy I wished would fall madly in love with me on my sixteenth birthday was spending his birthdays behind bars a few years later. You learn that broken hearts don’t kill you, that getting into a fender bender and failing a math test aren’t the end of the world.
Birthdays are simply meant to be celebrated. So Happy Birthday, Lucia, Kylie, and to all of you who are about to hit another marker in your life. May your special day bring you joy, laughter, and a little more wisdom. Oh, and chocolate cake. That’s almost the best part!