This week, my baby sister - the one I packed around on my hip like she was my own, the one whose name I still confuse with my own child's - graduated from high school. I may have worn wedges (at 31 weeks...what was I thinking?) and had to chase around my Belle during what seemed to be designed to be the longest high school graduation in the world's history, but in all the walking (and leg aching), I did some thinking.
I have no desire to repeat high school (indeed, I don't think anyone needs that experience twice, even if it was awesome), but I did look back with a bit of nostalgia. It's funny to remember how simple life truly was when I "knew everything." (Didn't we though?) "Life changing decisions" that I spent time agonizing over were really just life changing opportunities, no matter what I chose. And had I known that having the ability to see life laid out ahead of me with such clarity was such a singular experience, I'd have probably paid closer attention to the years whizzing past me.
Of course, life today is wonderful in different and amazingly complicated ways, but for a few moments, it felt good to remember being almost half my age and having a world of possibility spread out in all directions before me. I had dreams, and I believed I could chase them. My body was full of energy, and my mind actually responded when prompted to, instead of sluggishly shuffling through a sea of pregnancy hormones and to-do lists. Remembering those simple days helped me remember that although life is different now, the decisions I made then are the ones that steered me in this direction, the direction of my biggest dreams. I've landed in a dream that I hoped for, but I took roads I didn't expect or anticipate to get here.
I don't think she knows it, but my baby sister's life has just begun. I wish her all the best in the coming years and hope she knows how much happy is sitting out there, just waiting to be grabbed. The life decisions that might loom above her for the next couple years can actually be some of the best decisions she'll make. And they'll lead to some of her happiest years.
Also, I think she's beautiful. Don't you? Also, do you love how we all look like my mom? I do. :)