AUGUST 1976

Susan Miller took a cursory glance out the window as she moved to sit on the sofa, a Tab in her hand. Outside, two girls who couldn't have been more than sixteen walked past, looking as though they barely noticed the world going on around them- whatever they were talking so animatedly about must have been important. Susan wondered if they were among her seventeen year-old daughter Laurie's classmates at the high school. Looking closer, she realized that the tall, blonde girl was Cindy Garrett- Susan couldn't believe how different Cindy looked. It had only been one month- two, tops, since she had last seen Cindy- but she certainly had changed, with her newly attained height and hair color.

Seeing Cindy, Susan was suddenly lost in thought, wistfully remembering her teenage years. In reality, they had stopped when she was sixteen- the age when she had not only met, but gotten pregnant by and married Bruce Miller. She had known right then that her childhood was over. She would spend her days taking care of the baby she was pregnant with as well as Bruce and anyone else who came along.

Laurie, entering the room carrying a stack of books per usual, broke Susan's train of thought.

"What are you staring at?" she inquired, craning her neck to see what had attracted her attention.

"Oh, nothing." responded Susan. "Where are you off to?" she asked Laurie, attempting to come out of her reverie and focus on her life at hand.

"Book drive."

"May I see?" Laurie handed her the pile.

"Your Nancy Drews? We read these together when you had the chicken pox!" Susan said somewhat achingly.

"Gotta make room on the shelves somehow. Time to move on."

As Susan watched her daughter head out the door to the library, she wondered what Laurie thought of her life at this age- if she ever considered it at all. She was only a year older than Susan had been when she had gotten pregnant with Laurie. How close Laurie was to having the same fate as her!

Susan marveled at the fact that her life was coming full-circle. Over the summer, with all of the changes the Millers had experienced just by meeting Tom and Trina Decker- they had been catapulted into their fun and freewheeling lifestyle, affecting not only their relationships with one another but also the Thompsons- who had somewhat reluctantly followed the Millers' circle change.

When she had settled down at the tender age of sixteen, she imagined her family life in the future being the same as it had been at the start. But now, with the changes that the past few months had brought, Susan was a little doubtful that she was running the family the way she was supposed to. Now, at the end of the summer, she had finally realized that change was not only inevitable but necessary. The times were changing, and Susan needed to, too.

Taking a sip of her Tab, she glanced out the window again. This time, the sight of Laurie heading down the street greeted her. There were plenty of times in Susan's life when she had no idea what Laurie was doing or thinking, but she was confident that Laurie was making the right choices in her life, ones that would leave her satisfied in the end.