When One Door Closes

There is always one moment in childhood when the door opens and lets the future in~Deepak Chopra

Happy 21st birthday Jennifer. I actually celebrate 4 birthdays a year. My own. And the celebration on each child's birthday is that it is never going to be their BIRTH - day again.

We both felt a little bittersweet as we commemorated her big day in downtown Chicago. She has decided that this is the last special b-day. The fun ones are over. Years 1-9 are unique in a childish sense. 10 is that you hit double digits. 12 is kinda your last child b-day. 13; you're a teenager. Of course, there is Sweet 16. 18; and you could actually be on your own, buy a gun. 19 is your last teen-age year.

And then 21! There you are.

You wished and hoped for it and then somehow you don't really want it to commence.

I felt, as I so often have in the last few months, that life is a vapor. It’s hard to believe that 21 years have gone by since the 70-degree day in 1983 when Jennifer Grace came on the scene.

Fast forward to our perfect 3-3-04. We stopped in at Ed's to chat with Bill. It is always good to see Bill because that means that we laughed uncontrollably all through our free lunch.

We collected her 14 rolls of film illustrating her 9 days in Paris. She is really picky when it comes to critiquing photos and at close analysis I feel like she was 99% pleased. We sat at the food court in Nordstrom's to look at all 215 pics and then did very little shopping.

Our next mission included Jen receiving an adult type haircut. She ended up with bangs, which she hasn't had since 7th grade. Let go Jen, you have to let go! So mission accomplished we head to Borders for what we thought would be a browsing session. But Jen has always been a reader. She used to host reading parties where the guests included her friend Beth, and the venue would be on their beds or out on a blanket in the lawn.

We came away with 4 or 5 new books to share. Finally we had the loveliest dinner at the Grand Lux Cafe overlooking Michigan Ave. We thanked ourselves over and over for driving into the city and not having to trudge to the train. When we got back to her apartment we started up a reading party that didn't last very long. The next morning we headed to the Golden Nugget for breakfast with Ben. We chit chatted about Springhill and brainstormed one-liners for Melissa's Cinderella program.

No offense to you Ben, but I think the sweetest words I have ever heard are, "It's a girl."

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