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the inevitable.

September 23, 2010

I have often been subjected to the effervescent behavior of my relatives at family reunions.  They gush about how I look more and more like my mother every year, how tall I am getting, how many freckles I have (always my favorite) and how they cannot believe how fast time flies.   I always had a tendency to inwardly groan whenever great aunt so-and-so would make her way towards me, knowing full well that these comments would be the exact words to flow from her mouth.

Today I found myself waiting outside of the dressing room on a rickety bar stool at one of my favorite shops.  Notice I was not the one in the dressing room-no, I was the one with the “SAT in a box” flashcards trying figure out the root of x to the fourth power divided by twenty three hundred.  I was in “my” section of the store waiting on my 7th grade sister.

Ever since I gained access to the keys of the family car, my sister and my mom have both enjoyed the shopping trips that Liz and I take to find her new clothes.  My mom, never a shopaholic, joyfully agrees to stay home while my sister leaps at the opportunity to go out with another teen-or come to think of it, maybe its just the fact that we usually stop and get milkshakes on the way home.  Whichever it is, the shopping situation is quite agreeable to all of us, so I was not surprised in the least when I found I was the one driving the family set of wheels to nearest shopping center.

Pulling in to our usual children’s store, I was taken aback when my sister stated that she wasn’t sure that we would be able to shop there.  “What is she talking about?” I thought to myself “we always come here.  I hope this whole junior high girls thing hasn’t given her fancy ideas about where her clothing should come from.”  After perusing rack after rack of clothing and finding nothing suitable I realized that the only way were were going to be the least bit successful was to take her to my usual place.

MY usual place.  Liz and I are almost six years apart.  That is a lot of time.  I have sometimes felt more like another mom than an older sister.  But as I sat on that rickety stool in my favorite shop, I realized the girl on the other side of the curtain was a lovely young lady.  Not only is she starting to act the part-ie taking responsibility, investing in friendships, developing life skills-she is now wearing something close to my size.  She is starting to look like a young lady too.

It was a sobering moment when I realized that I could have missed all of this if I was at school this year.  Her first volleyball game.  Her crochet club at my house, the stories of the favorite substitute teacher coming to her class tomorrow.  I could have missed my little sister growing up.

They only grow up once, the saying goes.  And after the next ten months, I will hardly get to witness any of her next six years.  My family will become a family of four.  People will know my parents and my siblings, and I will become a “phantom” child.  I will no longer know the names of all of my siblings’ friends who come over after school to mooch off of my mom’s excellent cooking or to provide an excuse for my brother to not have to practice his cello.  I will be my own entity.

These little moments remind me of the great joys of my gap year.  Leaving the nest is inevitable, missing my siblings lives is not.

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From → Gap Year Life

2 Comments
  1. Hannah Smith permalink

    This is so great– Makes my heart warm!!!
    You’re going to be an excellent mom!

  2. Kendra Kosirog permalink

    Kathryn, this is so great! What a joy it is to read what you write. Thank you for showing so much of a love for Elizabeth…sadly many siblings do not. Your heart is so beautiful and just think, God is blossoming you more into a woman for Him. You are dearly loved 🙂

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