My Dear “Kindred Spirit,”
Tomorrow is my little sister’s graduation.
Oh, stop it… I can sense that look on your face.
You’re thinking “homeschool graduation?” and picturing a bunch of smelly, bearded hicks dressed in overalls (with no shirts or shoes) sitting around picking on banjos and whooping it up:
“Yee haw! Naomi done gradjated skool! Shew ’em all you done lurned, girl! Count to 12… without using yer toes! Woo hoo! Now let’s go blow something up!!”
You’re being absolutely ridiculous, of course. No one around here plays the banjo.
So I’ve been taking a trip down “memory lane,” thinking about the past 17 years or so.
I can remember when Naomi was born. I was 7 years old at the time, and surrounded by boys. I had two older brothers and two younger brothers. You cannot begin to imagine just how excited I was to finally have a sister!!
Little did I realize that for the first decade or so of Naomi’s life, she would be more of a daughter than a sister… That’s what gives me bragging rights here. I wouldn’t normally be allowed to brag this much about my sister, but I’ve been her second mother as well as her big sister (yes, you’re allowed to feel sorry for her), so I can get away with it this time.
I taught her how to hang laundry and sweep a floor. I taught her to play the piano and helped her with her schoolwork. We took violin lessons together and fought about dresser space and bedroom cleanliness (she’s the neat one). We take shopping trips together and still borrow each others clothes.
I love being a big sister and seeing how my life and interests have influenced my sister – without me, Naomi might have never learned how to play the piano or use herbs and essential oils. She would probably believe that “low fat” is healthy (boy, I filled her in on the truth about that stupid “Health and Nutrition” textbook!), and she probably wouldn’t know how to knit or crochet, either. She certainly wouldn’t be as well educated on female health as she is now (I wonder if she’ll ever forgive me for talking mom into making her read that “Honoring our Cycles” workbook…).
But what I love most is seeing how different from me my sister is. I am proud of all she has become and accomplished, but I am most proud of her for following her own dreams. I’m glad she didn’t let me strong arm her into becoming a musician like me, when that’s not what she wants to do.
I’m proud of her for blazing her own trail. For dancing and acting because she loves to dance and act. For being best friends with the family dog, and painting her nails (and taking pictures of her nails), even though I look at her funny and give her a hard time about it (because that dog! and nail polish are so not my thing!) But dancing and acting and nail polish (and loving that dog!) is all a part of who Naomi is.
She is pursuing her passions, and using her talents. She is finding her own vision and dream, despite the teasing and tormenting she gets from her siblings because we don’t love all the things she loves. I am so proud of her for having the courage to do that – to live her life!
I love watching her come alive when she’s on stage, dancing or acting. I love seeing how good she is at it!
My sister is amazing. And if you don’t believe me, just ask her!
I wish many things for my sister’s future.
I want her to be happy and healthy. I want her to live life to the fullest. I want her to pursue the things that make her “come alive.”
But most of all, I want her to know just how much God loves and values her.
I want her to know that she is cherished and delighted in; precious and worthwhile in God’s eyes. I want her to not just mentally know about, but to experience and live God’s unconditional love. To live every day of her life as though she is absolutely – unconditionally – adored, cherished and loved by God. Because she is.
That is my wish for my sister.
(And for every other girl – and boy – in the world.)
Naomi, know that God loves you. Know that he delights in you, believes in you, and cherishes you.
Be yourself. You are enough.
P.S. Oh, Naomi?? I know you’re gonna read this and be totally creeped out by it. But I gotta say it anyway. I’m glad you’re my sister. I’m super proud of you. I love you. Stay weird!