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the older ones

i always wanted to be one of them — one of the “big girls”, as they were so fondly dubbed.  to this little sister they were the coolest, had the most fun, shared the best secrets, and were everything i could ever hope to be.  i would stand with my nose pushed against the cold windowpane beside our front door as i watched them pile into a car, heading off to their next adventure and think, someday i shall be one of them…

a few nights ago i stood in the second oldest sister’s green kitchen with the other two older sisters.  we grabbed last minute bowls and salsa and kept children from throwing themselves headlong into the oven as casseroles were retrieved and made sure everything was set for a big dinner together.  and for a moment we all relaxed and the daddy took this shot of the three big girls and me:

i’m still not really one of them.  they have husbands, homes, and more depending on them than i would like to consider — and me — well, i’m still in that awkward stage of trying to find my place as a new grownup.  i joke that i’m too selfish and set in my independent ways to do what they’re doing with their lives, but really, it’s just the desire still within me to be just like them and the fear that i won’t ever reach that.

i may be in the kitchen alongside them before every family meal, but most of the time i still feel like that ten year old girl with a very cold nose from the frigid windowpane watching the three best people i know.  i watch and want — the courage, the gentleness, the perseverance, the love, the humble heart, the generosity, the giving of themselves to those around them.  they are everything good and lovely and sacrificial.  and i would like to be that — i would like to be a big girl.

7 thoughts on “the older ones

  1. Why am I crying my eyes out right now? (copied and pasted, btw)
    After I got off the phone with you today, I was thinking, “I like that I now know what kind of tea she likes.” Then I thought, “I can’t believe I get to know her better.” Every post I read, I like you more and more.

  2. I almost cried, too. First because I miss all you lovely ladies in that photo–and somehow you all got even more beautiful (side note). And second because I get it…I feel exactly what you say in this: “i’m too selfish and set in my independent ways to do what they’re doing with their lives, but really, it’s just the desire still within me to be just like them and the fear that i won’t ever reach that.”

    But you know what I also think? I think that there are those who would love to be like you someday and fear they’ll never reach it.

    Thoughts from the Midwest…. kb

  3. Well, I didn’t cry but I felt a pang of what it must be like to be the middle child. Being the oldest is not fun, either. We take on way more than we should. I always wanted to be the youngest since babies of the family seem to be so.. unhindered.

    Yet, at the same time I realized you are the oldest of the next set of siblings. That places you in a different light.

    And then again, you will soon find out as I have, that no matter the downsides of our birth order, somehow, the struggle will soon end. Wait and see.

    ; )

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