Cliché Emotional Family Post

“One day you will do things for me that you hate. That is what it means to be family.”
― Jonathan Safran FoerEverything is Illuminated

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It’s really hard for me to write about my little sister because I love her so much. I just think about her and I try to write what I’m feeling and it makes me want to cry. So I’ll try not to overthink this, which might be a mistake in itself, but it’s the only way this post can happen.

First of all, I really hope she never sees this. But I kind of hope she does. She knows what I think, but she doesn’t want to hear it. I don’t want to push her away, but I do want her to know and understand…really understand what I’m saying. So here it is.

My sister is two years younger than me, which puts her at 18 years old. We have always been extremely close. I feel like our entire relationship has consisted of me smothering her with love and her trying to be independent. But she’s not-let me get that straight. When we were younger we went to summer camp and my mother put my sister and I in the same age group (her age group) so that my sister wouldn’t have to be alone. She gets incredibly homesick, and she spent every night cuddled up next to me in my tiny little sleeping bag in my tiny little twin bed. I have always loved her. I have ALWAYS protected her. She is a reflection of me and I know that. And furthermore, I know that I have been far from a perfect role model. I’ve made so many mistakes in my life that I would never want her to make. I’ve put myself in situations that I ache to imagine her in. She is 18. She is a “grown up,” at least technically. But she is still my little sister and I still feel like I am responsible for her. I want her to be happy, and I want her to be smart. Not just today, but in the long run. In twenty or thirty or fifty years, I want her to feel like she is happy with the way things turned out and that she chased every dream that she wanted to. I know it’s a lot to expect, but I can’t live in a world where she doesn’t become exactly who she wants to become.

That being said, I’ll get to the point.

My sister has a boyfriend. It’s her first boyfriend, and she is head-over-heels in love with him. I don’t doubt that he is a wonderful person. He holds doors open for her, is very respectful to my parents, and supports her to the fullest extent. I am not worried about him treating her poorly. That’s not it at all. But here’s what I am worried about: he is sixteen years old. That’s two years younger than my sister. That means he hasn’t even gotten his license yet. It means 70% of his peers have braces. And most of all, it means that he has TWO years of high school left. Now, my sister has always wanted to go to a big state school and go to football games and live in a dorm. Always. Except now she wants to stay in town and live with my parents so that she can be with her boyfriend. For two. Years. Until he graduates high school. I don’t even know if I can continue writing this… it makes me so upset.

Here’s how I feel about this situation: I feel like she is going to regret it. Logistically, the odds are not in favor of this relationship and logistically, they are not going to last the six years they have left until her boyfriend graduates college. That’s six years of someone compromising. And frankly, that someone is definitely my sister. I know that she’s happy now. I know that. But I know with my whole body that one day, she will wonder what could have been. She’ll want what she’s always wanted, but it will be too late. It honestly breaks my heart. I love my sister. So much. But I never see her or talk to her anymore. I don’t even know who she is these days. Suddenly her dreams, goals, and relationship with me have all drastically changed, and I just wonder if those things are really worth changing for this.

I know someone who was married at 18 and divorced at 30. She once told me that she left her husband because she didn’t know who she was without him.  That’s what makes me so nervous. I want my sister to know who she is. I want her to make mistakes and kiss frogs and meet new people and grow as a person like we all do when we’re 18. That’s how we figure ourselves out, isn’t it?

I don’t know. I sound stupid. I can’t articulate this very well because it makes me so emotional. I just want her to have the whole entire world and I am watching her throw herself away. Herself. That’s what it’s really about.

Ignore me.

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