Inspirational Blog

15 years old—do we know exactly what we are celebrating?

My big boy is turning 15 today. For some reason, we have put a mark on this age, but what does it mean? According to history, the tradition in Latin America comes from Aztec and Mayan cultures, where girls were believed to turn into adults and were old enough to take on new responsibilities, perhaps marrying and having children 🤷‍♀️? In Europe, something similar was the debutant dance at 17 or 18 as a mark of being old enough to enter society, and the sweet 16 in the United States as a symbol of entering society to find a suitable husband. All of these traditions were directed mainly at young girls turning into young adults. What for? If you ask me, it sounds like showing off a new shining object to be seen and acquired—how far we have come. How does that change your perspective on the Quinceañera? And why is 15 the age for adulthood in Latin America and older in other cultures? And why is it only about girls?

No matter the origin, the problem is that we still keep on hanging on to traditions without questioning if they are still aligned with our present values and beliefs. Don’t get me wrong, I love parties and dresses and celebrating all the time, but I now rather celebrate life for what it is before getting stuck in some old pattern that doesn’t align with my perspective of life, or at least I will question everything to draw my own conclusions about something I will do or reflect on my children.

So, back to my child. He is an awesome human being, as is his younger 12-year-old sister, and every year I am a witness to their evolution in the human race and what they are contributing with their thoughts, values, and experiences. 13, 15, or 25, I will keep admiring how each of them grows in wisdom through their own decisions and mistakes, taking on more responsibility as time passes. I refuse to make 15 more special than 13 or 30, for as long as they are alive and growing, I would like them to receive each year with more joy, awareness, and independence, a glowing heart, and a compassionate response to life itself. Every year has its challenges and bliss; every year can be used to reflect on how much they’ve grown, be grateful for being part of the human race, and look forward to new challenges and lessons.

That being said, I move forward to gifts. Why wait until they are 15 for a big party, trip, or gift? Why not now, no matter what age they are arriving at? And why are only girls to be part of a celebration, or, better said, an offering to society? What does that say about our values and belief systems? What happens after 15? Is no other age worthy of this kind of celebration and gift? And, why? Today we break that rule; today we celebrate a new year, that is, among our closest family and a delicious homemade dinner that my child chose and enjoys. Tomorrow he will be the same, with a new happy memory in his mind, I hope, but the same, only 24 hours older, and on a continuous path to continuous growth, never-ending growth.

So if you are really celebrating big, it’s perfectly fine. I would just like you to consider the reasons behind it and stop repeating patterns only because everybody else has always done it. Find a purpose, a reason, and if that is “I want a big party,” so be it, but explain it to your little girls so that it doesn’t go by like just another party or a milestone they don’t even understand. By all means, celebrate life, but do it every day, every year. Don’t stop celebrating.

My wish for you is an ever-growing life, increased awareness, and a life filled with purpose for you and your loved ones. No unnecessary stress, no obliged invitations, no pretending. Only better living and always growing, learning, and changing.

Happy 15! My Piki, may we always celebrate the good and the bad; may we always grow together; may you always teach me a better lesson; may we always find a way around life’s challenges; and may we always find new reasons and purposes together. Let’s celebrate!

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