Each year passes; we learn, and we grow. New friends come and old friends stay, the sun will shine and the rain will pour. So much changes, even day to day. We look back in bittersweet longing.
In my family, though, one thing has always remained the same, a measure of stability in an ever-reshaping world: birthday dinners.
Every birthday, we eat noodles with eggs. The noodles are cooked as one long strand, unbroken to symbolize longevity, in hopes that there are many more birthdays to come. The eggs, with their golden yolks, symbolize wealth; everyone eats at least one, and the birthday girl has two.
I remember sitting at the counter each year, reading the newest fantasy book, watching my mom cook the noodles as my dad fries the eggs. Noodles into the bowl first, then plop, plop, eggs on top. A labor of love, always.
Now I've gone off to college. Soon, there will be fewer and fewer birthdays to celebrate with family. I'll be living in my own apartment, in a different state halfway across the country. But I'll keep the tradition alive. I'll make my own noodles, fry my own eggs. Celebrate with friends. And even as I step through the doorway into a new period of my life, I'll keep this window open to my past, and remember.