Sixteen, what’s next?

Honestly, I can’t really believe that she’s sixteen now. Where has the time gone? When they’re little you’re looking forward to the moment they can sit, walk, eat by themselves, talk, go to the loo, walk at school alone, do their homework independently, and so on. And suddenly they are grown up and independent and you long for that little hand that looked for yours, the big googly eyes that looked at you questioningly, that meaningless babbling that made you smile and warmed your heart. Okay, enough sentimentality. What does it really mean to turn sixteen?

If we would still live in the US it would be your big day today: sweet sixteen: having a fancy party with your friends, beautiful dresses, hairs all curled up and perhaps a stretch limo? You new driver license in your hands and a shiny Jeep Wrangler waiting for you on the driveway. Sorry sweethart, won’t happen!

But don’t be too sad, there are a lot of things here in the UK you’re officially allowed to do now:

You could leave home and move out into the big world… However, you need to be deemed mature enough to do so by the courts and can be promptly dragged back again if you’re considered to be in danger.

You’re officially allowed to get frisky… but please never forget your strict catholic upbringing!

You’re allowed to drink alcohol (in extreme moderation). Accompanied by an adult, you can drink (but not buy) beer, wine or cider with a meal in a pub. But keep in mind: it’s still against the law to drink alcohol in public and to buy or try to buy alcohol! Don’t worry hun, at least you’re allowed now to buy as much liquorish chocolate as you want! 

You could join the army (with parental consent). Although you have to be 18 to be deployed and serve within the army but you can sign up and begin training. Free parental advice: think about that twice and stick to your studies and lifeguard career!

Buy a pet: now you can buy one yourself and bring it home as a nice surprise for your family. Whether they will let you keep it (or trust you ever again) is another question. I’m sure you know the answer already, sweetie!

Buy a lottery ticket: finally you can start investing in your future by stocking up on lottery tickets and increasing your chances of becoming a millionaire… or cheaper and more effective: start putting some of your pocket money into a saving account.

Get a piercing (but not a tattoo yet). I still remember how I felt, more than thirty years ago: holding onto my best friend’s hand I felt oh so rebellious, special and grown up! And I still wear that little ring with moonstone, it has become a part of me. Go for It baby!

You have to wait for another year until you can start driving a car but good thing you’re allowed to drive a tractor now! And if a tractor isn’t cool enough for you you can get your hands on a glider license, but honestly I’m not sure if Rivey Hill is high enough that it will bring you to swim training in time.

And last but most important you’re allowed to carry on living your life to the fullest, surprising us with your unique style of humor, spoiling us with your angelic voice, continue sharing your big heart, and making us proud with your smaller and bigger achievements. Stay as you are sweetheart, we love you to pieces with all your unique flaws and features!! Happy sweet sixteen!!

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