The Moon has never looked brighter than it has the last few nights. Standing on the back porch at 6:00 am waiting for Moxie and Maggie to secure the perimeter and do their business, the stars were already beginning to fade in the light of the coming dawn. But the moon was still high in the western sky, and the planet Jupiter was blazing nearby. I don’t recall ever seeing a planet so clearly defined in the night sky, as Jupiter has been lately. It makes me wonder what kind of mysterious event it portends, for surely, astrologists have been mapping out the possibilities.

Lil’ Miss 20 Prospect is turning eleven in the next week. Tonight she will be having a birthday slumber party with six of her friends. There will be cake, and ice cream, and games and crafts. It promises to be a long night of giggling, and hushed whispering out in the living room. I will be surprised if they are asleep by 2 am, because the whole point of a slumber party is paradoxically staying awake. Not for Dad though. I am miserable if I don’t get a good nights sleep. I just hope that Mrs. 20 Prospect is willing to sit up with them while I retire to the bedroom with the pups.

Eleven is a big age, a turning point of sorts as she rounds the corner into the “middle school” years. I know for a lot of people these were the darkest days of their lives. For me though, they were some of the best. By age eleven I was finally breaking free of the kids down the street that used to torment and pick on me, and establishing friendships outside of school with classmates. My new 10 speed bike brought mobility and freedom, and released me beyond the borders of Prospect Avenue for the first time. Girls were suddenly becoming a curiosity, and the works of J.R.R. Tolkien were fueling a rich fantasy life in my imagination.

I wonder what flights of fancy her imagination will take, and which dreams will be born in the coming years. She’s a good kid, and she has chosen her friends well. I hope that she continues to enjoy school, and life as much as she does today. I know that the road ahead will only get rockier. Having a couple of teenagers in the house promises to be a whole new experience for us all. Buckle your seat belts kids, it promises to be quite a ride.

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