EDITOR’S NOTE: This is something I wrote about my sister, Allison, before I even knew what a blog was. It was 1999 – she was 18 years old and it was part of a homemade Christmas gift. Since this post focuses on her growing up before my eyes, I thought it made sense to share this again – ESPECIALLY since my baby sister is expecting her first child in July!
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I can still remember when my baby sister referred to me as “doo doo.”
Looking back over the last 18 years, it makes me realize how absolutely amazing it is to watch someone grow up.
Allison Gayle came into my life on Dec. 31, 1981. I remember sitting at the hospital, waiting for her to be born. (I was playing some kind of card game with my grandmother.) I remember the day Mom and Dad brought her home from the hospital. (I helped make a sign that we hung over the front door.)
For the next 11 and half years, I got to see her grow up firsthand.
If you aren’t a parent – or don’t have a younger sibling – you can’t possibly fathom how amazing this metamorphosis is. I’m sure you’ve seen glimpses of a baby becoming a child, a child becoming a teenager, or a teenager becoming an adult – but watching the whole process unfold before your eyes is completely different.
Words can’t describe the feeling you get when that little baby you watched poop all over creation has to do homework, just like you, or realizes that boys don’t have “cooties” anymore. It just makes you want to ask:
“Weren’t you just in diapers?!?!”
Looking back, I can remember the most random things about Allison’s life. I bet there are a few of these events that she doesn’t even know happened. When you are the one doing the growing up, you don’t pay attention to every detail. You just notice the momentous occasions.
But when you are watching someone grow up, the little things are what stick out the most:
• I remember when Allison fell in the neighbor’s pool as a baby.
• I remember when she named one of our dog’s after a lady at church.
• I remember when she would lip-sync the words to “The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow” – once again, flaunting around the house in only her diaper.
• I remember using her as a tackling dummy in the living room. (Oh…she’ll remember that one. “DOWN. SET. HUT!”)
• And of course, I’ve already mentioned the “doo doo” story. (She just had a little trouble pronouncing my name – that’s all.)
It is crazy to stir up those memories, especially after she calls to tell you that she’s been accepted to college. It makes you want to ask:
“Weren’t you just in Ms. Petrannani’s preschool class?!?!?!”
One of the hardest times in my life was when I went off to college. Allison was around 11 years old and about to embark on her teenage years. Even though I was only 2 hours away, I hated the fact that I wasn’t there to watch her grow up anymore.