November 27, 2013

WP Daily Prompt for 01/21/2013: Sweet Sixteen

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONSMovicons2-hugsandkisses(3)

Hug for 16-year old Jordan

WORDPRESS DAILY PROMPT for January 21 2013

Held over until November 27, 2013:


I didn’t procrastinate

I intentionally held my response to the WordPress Daily Prompt, Sweet Sixteen, posted on January 21, 2013, until November 27, 2013. You see, I knew my granddaughter Jordan would celebrate her sixteenth birthday on this day.

The question the prompt asked was When you were 16, what did you think your life would look like? Does it look like that? Is it a good thing?

Thus, on Jordan’s 16th birthday I will first reflect back on my life and dreams when I was 16—back in December 1959.

scan0002E2On that date I lived in a two-bedroom apartment in a Buffalo, New York, housing project behind Kensington High School. Six months previously, on July 4th, my youngest sister Sally was born. She joined siblings Cynthia ((born March 1, 1958), Hugh (born June 4, 1956), Jane (born July 19, 1955), myself, and my older sister, 17. Both my parents held full-time jobs. They slept in the living room. I was a junior at Kensington High School.

I don’t recall my 16th birthday, if it was even recognized in the chaos.

What I do recall is the realization that I wouldn’t repeat the lifestyle I was in the midst of. Crying babies. Yelling parents. Overcrowding.

My goal was to get a college education and to be financially capable of living a better life. I did volunteer work in the school library, joined the journalism club, was on the yearbook staff. I was active in Junior Achievement, and volunteered at local hospitals during high school. I babysat for money.

I achieved my goal. I didn’t repeat my mother’s lifestyle. And yes, that is a good thing.

I married, had two children. The oldest was Jordan’s mother, Sandy.

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She doesn’t remember much about her 16th birthday, except she went out on a date with her boyfriend. It was her second date—except for a prom date a couple of weeks earlier she didn’t have permission to date until she was sixteen.

Fast forward to November 23, 2013, Jordan’s 16th birthday party. I never saw her smile so much. Her friends were there, including her boyfriend. Her family was all there.


Her paternal grandmother made her birthday cake. Her father’s country music band provided the entertainment. Her step-father cooked the hot dogs. I didn’t do much—I was supposed to help decorate but fell and pulled some stuff in my knee. I was in pain.  However, I managed to do what I do at all events, exercise my trigger finger. I shot lots of pictures.IMG_4146E


Jordan spent most of her time with her friends, surrounded by this family. She ate pizza and hot dogs, blew out the candles on her cake, danced, opened her gifts.IMG_4163E



What she doesn’t realize is that the best gift of the party came from her mother, my daughter.

Her party guests included both her parents, who divorced years ago. Sandy is now remarried to Michael, who, with his family, was at her party. Her father was there with his family, including her other grandparents, his parents.

Somehow my daughter managed, through the years, to produce this situation where Jordan didn’t have to maneuver between conflict, anger, animosity. She was free to enjoy herself at her party without wondering if anyone was going to argue or fight with each other.

This gift Sandy gave Jordan is something that is very difficult to accomplish. I commend her for it.


I plan on taking Jordan to dinner for her birthday—after the hassle of the current holiday is over. For today, I teased her about what happened 16 years ago—when her arrival caused us to miss Thanksgiving dinner. Her birth occurred on Thanksgiving day, a day her family spent in a hospital waiting room instead of eating the turkey that was returned to the refrigerator before it ever was put in the oven.





The Thanksgiving Baby


(A NaBloPoMo post)


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