Book-ending our vacation were L.’s first two birthday parties that were her own. She’d been to several parties over the years, but always because she was the third sister, not because it was the party of someone her age. So she was awfully excited about these two gatherings.

It was funny to watch her. As one of the two or three oldest kids in her class, and a third sister, she is one of the ringleaders for all class activities. When her class is outside before afternoon pickup, I always see her and two boys leading the charge for whatever the class is doing. She’ll yell, point towards something across the playground, take off, and soon the entire class is joining her on whatever quest she has conjured up.

At both parties she hung out with those two boys. She says hello to the girls and will play with them if they’re close. But she, D., and P. are inseparable. She was telling the truth when she told me that she was a tomboy over the holidays.

Making it funnier was how the moms of both boys asked me if L. would like to come play after school some day. Not the moms of one of the other girls, as was the case with both M. and C.. Nope, the boys want to hang out with L., and L. wants to hang out with the boys.

My other observation from the parties was how, with L.’s classmates, we’re suddenly the ‘older’ parents. At one of the parties a mom made a derisive comment about the music being played over the PA, which was admittedly bad 80s music. I started to defend it, then I realized I’m probably 10 years older than her. What was middle/high school music for me takes her back to preschool.

At the second party I did a quiet, informal survey of the other parents. Of the 20+ kids there, I’m guessing only a couple were within five years of me in age. The majority were 30-35. There was at least one mom who is likely still shy of her 30th birthday.

Age doesn’t really matter when you’re an adult and have a family. There was plenty to talk about with those parents. Our kids are in school together after all. It’s just a little weird to be on the high end of the parental age curve, rather than right in the heart of it as we are at St. P’s. And I couldn’t help but think the younger parents being closer to their 20s somehow makes their conversations different than when us 40-somethings get together.