Happy Birthday, Pippa!

Today is Pippa’s sixteenth birthday, which means that she gets a BONUS POST all about her!

Pippa, you should be very proud of yourself for making it to sixteen. I must admit that I thought my attempts to finish you off when you were a young child would be a success. Kidding! But if you look back at all that I did (slamming your hand in the screen door, breaking your finger with the window seat, cutting your head open when I pushing you into the coffee table, etc), they were largely accidents.

Along with the two CDs I gave you, which I promptly uploaded onto my computer (They’re both quite good, by the way), I have made you a list of some things that you can do at sixteen that you couldn’t do before.

1. Get your permit/license at school (but not at home)

2. Donate blood (because you love needles)

3. Drop out of school

4. Get an adult job and retire your never successful lemonade-selling ventures

5. Say you’re sixteen without lying

One last thing: Remember our dance routine to this song that we used to perform with the gang when I was ten and you were eight? I think it involved wearing bathing suit tops with velour bell-bottoms and jumping up and down on my bed. Anyways, it’s applicable now!

Back in the Game

To begin, if you haven’t guessed it by now, I have a few “issues”. Amongst them are depression and generalized anxiety disorder. They really do make day-to-day life fun. As I wrote about in Essay Panic, I miss school a lot. Like, a lot a lot. No, I’m not skiving off class or homework. Instead, I’m usually curling up in a ball and not getting out of bed until the middle of the afternoon, if that. So this week, I missed Monday and Tuesday due to ball-curling.

But with the help of my trusty therapist and my parents, I headed on back to school yesterday. And the moment that I walked into the building I was reminded exactly how much school freaks me out.

There are a million people shoving their way down the halls, kids yelling,  and security guards shouting at everyone to “Get a move on” because we’ve got “LESS THAN FOUR MINUTES” or  the world will spontaneously combust if all 2,000 of us aren’t in class. Boys spit in the halls and stairwells like we were stuck in the Middle Ages with rushes covering the floor and people urinating in the corners of the room. Clumps of students stop in the middle of halls to talk to their friends, leaving little space for everyone else to walk by. Cecelia calls them “clumps of fat in an artery”, and I’m inclined to agree with her. And it’s moments like that I really wish that I was Pippa (my 15-year-old sister who goes to prep school) who gets to walk down pathways along a river to beautiful stone and brick buildings to go to class. But I took off, doing my patented bob-and-weave to navigate my way up to the third floor where I slipped into AP Government and Politics.

And it was then that I began to realize that hey, school can be fun. I spent an hour and a half with four other people working on our presentations for a national competition about the Constitution and Government. (We’ve got regionals next weeks! ACK!) I would never have been able to be close to three of them had it not been for this competition, and they’re are wonderful people.

We’ve even got nicknames for each other.  I’m Fizz because I drink abnormal amounts of Seltzer. (Vintage Seltzer just came out with a pomegranate flavor, and Pippa and I can’t get enough of it.) Cecelia is “Omar” after the Guy on the Wire because she looks soooooo much like him. The resemblance is uncanny. And the three boys are Doc (after Doc’s love of Google Docs), Chip (after pita chips), and Milky (because Milky was in Milwaukee at a fencing tournament when we made up the names). I love the group camaraderie, and it feels so nice to have new friends.

Also, everyone in our group is smart and pulls their weight, which is a first for me because I ALWAYS get the groups where I have to stay up until two in the morning writing the entire presentation or pasting things to poster-board. As nervous as I am for next week, I know that we understand our topics inside and out.

But it took until lunchtime to really feel happy. I was sitting in the art room in the depths of the basement on a rickety stool that has a habit of tipping over if you sit too close to the edge, everything smelled like acrylic paint and clay, and I was laughing. Clara was making small figurines out of brownish clay, Sadie was eating her Lean Cusine, and I knew that everything was alright. It really was. Ella is officially back in the game!