- Birth. You wouldn’t be here without it.
- Officially being declared “potty-trained.” You won’t poop your pants every day for the rest of your life! You’re practically an adult.
- Receiving the Tickle-Me-Elmo/Easy Bake Oven/Lego set you were dying to get for your birthday. You dropped approximately 82 “subtle” hints to your parents and still were genuinely surprised when you unwrapped the box.
- The first school bus ride. That big yellow shuttle came breezing down the road and you got right on it like you’ve done it your whole life. Mom snapped away with her camera and frantically waved at you with tears in her eyes.
- Waking up on Christmas morning and seeing “Santa” ate the cookies and gave the carrots to the reindeer that you left anxiously by the fireplace. (Would Santa like mint chocolate chip? What if there weren’t enough carrots for all the reindeer? Will the milk stay cold?) Magic still exists.
- The first time you finally ride your bike successfully without training wheels.
- The first time your parents finally let you ride your bike around the block by yourself.
- Being top of the food chain for the first time as a fifth grader. You ruled the school, and was not afraid to show it. And you had an unlimited supply of Magic Tree House books in the library. Life was good.
- There was nothing good about middle school, just move past it.
- There was nothing good about freshmen year of high school, just move past it.
- Getting your license. After sweating through three layers of clothing while maneuvering those retched cones and driving around town for five minutes, you smile (with way too much teeth) for the camera and you’ve got it. Hot off the presses, your brand new license. Maybe your mom will even let you drive her home!
- Your third kiss. The first kiss is a jumble of confusion and panic and insecurity and embarrassment. The second kiss is a full of anticipation and worry and “am I supposed to have some sort of technique mastered by now??” By the third time, you’re an old pro, ready to take on the world, lips first.
- Hearing a really good secret, and actually keeping it. Look at you, being all trustworthy!
- The first time a teacher swears in front of you.
- Your first paycheck. Yeah, it was for $89.72 after taxes, but you earned it.
- Senioritis. The students know it, the teachers know it, nothing is going to get done.
- Your first true love. So that’s what it’s supposed to feel like.
- The post-graduation release of parental control. Leashes start loosening, curfews start slipping, and you’re on your way to independence.
- College. Period.
- The knowledge that, somehow, someway, and somewhere, the best is still yet to come.
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