Birthday milestones are fun when you are turning ten. They are equally fun when you are turning 13, 16, and 21. The fun leaves, and the "ugh" arrives after twenty-one. I cannot recall any 29 year old fist pumping because they are about to turn 30. In addition, I cannot recall the moment in time when you stop wishing that you looked older and begin to wish that you looked younger. These two episodes must coincide and I'm guessing that it all happens around the age of twenty-nine.

Our oldest boy is not nearly as excited to turn 17 as he was to turn 16. Other that becoming legally able to purchase a ticket to an "R" rated movie and reading Seventeen magazine for the first time as an actual 17 year old (him personally, but other girl variety 17 year olds), there aren't many perks which come with seventeen. In fact, those who are seventeen spend the last half of the year telling people that they are almost eighteen. Anticipating the next birthday for six months can't be much fun.

Our other boy turns 12 this year. There are not many perks with that age either. He told me the other day that next year he will really be grown up. Turning thirteen is so much cooler than twelve, unless all of those notorious body changes have you wishing you were eight again.

The youngest of the family turns 10. Now that's a milestone, I'm told. Double digits mean something amazing, I'm just not sure what. Does it mean the exit of adolescence and the entrance to pre teen, or is it simply the exit of those pesky single digits which are associated with preschoolers and blankies? Double digits hang out exclusively with other numbers, and in pairs, and altogether, like a party. Whatever the reason, it's big although we don't have big plans.

Our daughter turns 20 but not until December. She exits her teen years and will enter the age of a 20 something. She will have the option to say "I'm in my 20's" or "I am almost 21." People expect more from a 20 year old. By this time she better be capable of hard boiling an egg and doing a load of laundry along with a whole host of other things otherwise I have failed as a parent. Fifty years ago, 20 year old women were married and had children, and were doing much more that boiling eggs and making sure that the darks and whites didn't mix in the washing machine. I'll take the 21st century expectations over that.

I just turned 50. Milestone yes, but definitely no fist pumping involved. This year I'll settle for raucously celebrating, ten, twelve, seventeen, and twenty, and in addition, thanking God for 50 amazing years and a spectacular husband and family.