24 June 2013

About a Girl

My earliest memory of you is when you came to stay at our house overnight. I can’t remember why you did, but now that I have a little girl of my own, I can only assume it was so that your parents could find sweet relief in some sleep and staring open-mouthed at the television for twenty-four hours straight.

You had little to no hair then, but a smile bright enough to light up our entire living room. I remember you sitting on a quilt pallet my mama made for us three girls, and Sister and I just played with you and loved on you. Under parental supervision, of course. I’m sure they were afraid we would suffocate you with our over zealous hugs.

And when they came to take you away back home? Well, let’s just say I must have really invested in you for the 24 hours you were with us, because the sobbing? It did happen. I remember standing in our little hallway bathroom and watching the car drive down the driveway with you…crying all the while.

Obviously, I was nuts.

Fast forward a few years, and you gracefully won the Little Miss contest in your hometown.

So on second thought, I probably knew all those years ago that I was in the presence of a future beauty queen and knew it was the closest I’d get to winning a pageant myself, so I wanted to be around that awesomeness a little bit longer….

I can easily conjure up the portrait of you from Grandma’s living room, ensconced in layers of pink and lace. Like a happy little birthday cake.

Then, the years started to fly by. You turned into a smart, friendly, lovely girl. Well, I guess you were probably always those things, but when you only see your cousin on holidays, you might not know it until you’ve grown old enough to really appreciate these things.

And now.

And now, you are embarking on a giant adventure. A huge life journey. Something that will change you and your immediate family forever…for the better.

It’s scary, and it’s uncharted territory. I can’t even relate to what you’re about to do. The closest I’ve come to such a thing is the week I went to church camp…and maybe when I left for college and first lived on my own. But come on. I was only 45 minutes away, living with girls I went to high school with, and having my parents take me out to eat once a weekend at all the great chain restaurants.

So again…I have no basis for comparison. I don’t even know if you’re really, truly frightened of this giant trip. Are you nervous? Anxious? Excited? Some sort of alien that thrives on adventure and sports?

I kid.

Not even aliens like sports that much.

If it were me, I’d be crying for the hubs just IMAGINING myself going on a trip alone…much less in other countries with foreign languages fraught with dangers and new job descriptions. I mean, y’all might as well commit me if there’s ever a government reason for me to do anything close to this.

But you are brave.

And I think this is a wonderful thing. You will come back changed for the better and full of life experiences.

I can’t wait to hear all the stories.

In Awe & Wonder,

The Girl Attached to Her Own Backyard

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