When I was a preteen, my mom and I didn’t always get along so well (as with many moms and preteen daughters). As the oldest, I had to grow up first. My childhood was SO wonderful that I think I got angry when it started to end without my consent. That’s how life is, isn’t it? We don’t get to choose how and when change happens. Time marches on. My younger sister didn’t understand why I didn’t want to be her playmate anymore. I withdrew from my family, at times, while I tried to make sense of the difficult business of growing up. I listened to a lot of Billie Holiday. Her music still soothes me. (sigh)
By the time I graduated from high school, things had gotten much better. My mom would call every Sunday and sometimes in the evenings during the week, too, to find out how life was going while I was away at college. I found myself opening up and having longer chats with her than I’d had in a long time. I was at the same university she attended, and she enjoyed hearing about my experiences there. I asked her how things were going at home, and she told me about her life and everything I was missing back home. Somewhere along the way, I started to feel like she enjoyed talking with me in a grown up way. She wasn’t just giving me instructions or advice. I wasn’t just asking for things. We were sharing and encouraging each other. How refreshing!
I was a senior in college when my sister moved to town to start her freshman year. My off-campus house was her haven away from dorm life. I encouraged her through the adjustment period and really enjoyed spending time with her. I showed her the ropes a little bit and watched her grow up a lot that year. We really reconnected. In the spring, when I was struggling with questions about my next chapter and dreading the inevitable end of the college life I loved so much (I’m sensing a pattern here with me and change…hmmm.), it was my sister who comforted me.
In Part II of this story, the palace ties it all together. You’ll see. 🙂