|Janey blowing out candles|
|Janey on her birthday morning|
|Janey and her brother Freddy|
, to get her nuggets and fries, lots of videos, lots of snuggling, lots of music and car rides. We know Janey well enough now to be able to give her the kind of day she loves, without trying to make it the kind of day I picture a girl's 13th birthday being.
However, the day to me also felt strangely like some kind of deadline. I wasn't anticipating feeling this, but I did. I think of myself at 13. That was the year I entered high school. I can picture myself very clearly that year, and although of course there were many life happenings far ahead of me still then, in a very real way I haven't changed. I was me---the me I still am. And Janey is Janey, the Janey she is now and will be. And the birthday reflected that Janey. She might or might not have understood it was her birthday. She did not have friends over---she has no friends. She didn't long for some special teenager present, like a phone. It is not in her realm of knowledge to even know she could want something like that. She didn't sign up for Facebook, as I remember Maryellen's daughter Julia eagerly doing on her 13th birthday. She doesn't know what Facebook is. I picture her life as a line that at junctures like this birthday takes a different route than most life lines. It is, in a computer word Freddy has taught me, a hard fork, one that is never coming back to the main line.
When I think back on this birthday, I hope what I remember is all of us dancing to the Beatles, laughing and clapping and singing in a way that no only includes Janey, but celebrates her. And my wish for her is a life full of moments like that, shining moments in her own personal life story.