Little bird, you’re really leaving the nest.
My youngest sibling is graduating from college today.
I really don’t know what to feel. I definitely feel old, because if you’re old enough to graduate college, that means I graduated four years ago and that’s just impossible. I still see you as the cute, freckly 14-year-old you used to be, because that’s how old you were when I went to college. (Remember taking those silly photos on my Macbook in the car on the way to OBU? Lol.) Sometimes I look at you and I’m like, “Wait…you can drive??” But you’re not 14 anymore. You’re an actual adult. *weird*
I know we struggle like any pair of sisters would, and I know I’ve tried to be your mom too many times when Mom actually does the job just fine by herself. But even though you’re my “little” sister (I’m pretty sure you’re taller than me now), I look up to you (which I guess is fitting, seeing as how you’re taller, but I digress). You are so neat! I mean it, I really do look up to you! You have qualities I’ve never had, and may never have, though I hope that maybe you’ll live near me again someday and I can acquire them through osmosis.
You are compassionate.
You give generously.
You care for others selflessly.
You have the best sense of humor.
You love learning.
Not to mention the fact that you LITERALLY never went through an awkward pre-teen/teen phase. Shut up, because I know that you’re protesting, but seriously? You didn’t. Stop.
It’s hard for me to handle you as a grown-up, and I think I figured out why. We’ve spent two decades in a funny sort of dance: me doing dumb things and telling you not to do them, you doing dumb things and telling me about them, both of us laughing (and crying) about dumb stuff we did, me giving you advice you needed but didn’t want, you giving me advice I didn’t know I needed, me giving you advice you didn’t need because you already knew what to do, and so on. Now, after all this time, we’re finally beginning to come to a place where the playing field is more even. You’re catching up to me, and it’s hard for me to admit. Know why? Because I still want to be needed. :) You’re growing up, but I don’t want you to stop needing me. Since the day you were born, I’ve been looking out for you. I think God engraves it on the hearts of every oldest child: an instinctive responsibility to protect and encourage their younger brothers or sisters. Nine times out of ten, I’ve given you advice because (1) I wanted you to do what I did because it worked, or (2) I wanted you to NOT do what I did because it DIDN’T work. I’ve spent years perfecting the role of “older and wiser” (*wink*), and it’s weird to start becoming more like equals as far as life experience goes. It’s hard to let go of you, because I don’t want you to fall. But you were BORN to fly. You’re ready. You are so ready, and you’re going to change the world.
I know I’ve already been more sappy than you’re comfortable with, but just know that I adore you and I couldn’t be prouder of you if I tried. You’re going to be the BEST teacher – can’t wait to see where the Lord sends you next! ♥
I love you!