Growing Pains

Photo Credit Paul Gibbons

She walked out in a pair of tiny denim shorts and a T-shirt that was falling off one shoulder. She spoke in a sweet southern accent that I’d never heard before and burst into real tears as she explained to her best friend that she’d never be responsible enough to be a mother.

My sister stole the show for her acting final.

I was sitting in the auditorium near the back (I had permission to sneak in to watch the students’ finals) with tears streaming down my face. I don’t care if she was acting, that was my little sister talking about being a mom and experiencing betrayal as she talked about her baby’s father.

There’s truth in theater, and I think that’s why we cry (or blubber, if you’re me.) If you missed it, I wrote her a love letter last February.

This is the truth: my sister is growing up. She doesn’t have a baby of her own, but she did just graduate from college. She isn’t reeling with a broken heart from a loser boyfriend, but she is nursing wounds that left her fierce and defensive, but that also made her one tough cookie who I can respect.

On a hike yesterday, she and I walked and talked, just the two of us, for almost 6 miles. I got to see the woman she is becoming as she interviews jobs, as she dreams of traveling and studying glass blowing. She even let me brainstorm solutions for a socially frustrating situation—and we did it as peers.

And if I’m not careful, I’m going to start crying all over again.

Are any of you also going through someone else’s growing pains?



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This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. I can only hope my girls grow up to be true friends as you are with your baby sister! Very sweet.

    1. Thank you, Tess! It means a lot that this touches you, as a mother of girls. Our sisterhood has been a journey of laughter and tears and she’s still one of the dearest people on the planet to me.

      1. Elise, I love all your writings, but this one touches my heart like no others. I am an older sister to a baby sister – there were only two of us in the family. I totally relate to how you are feeling at this point of hers and your life. I used all the tricks known to mankind trying to shield my sister from the growing pains. I failed!! She needed to go thru them in her own term regardless how painful they were. Today, my sister is a college math professor and a mother of a beautiful and smart girl who has perfect SAT scores in both math and English. I am a smarter mother to my two sons than I was to my sister. Thanks for sharing these personal stories.

        1. Naiwei-I’m honored! Girls who have sisters have a very unique relationship. And though I don’t have kids yet, I think it has to be close to what mothers feel for their children, too. I’m so glad you connected with this! Thank you very much for writing to let me know!

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