There comes a day in everyone’s life when you realise “holy smoke, I’m getting old”. My moment came over the weekend when my baby sister (@youlendree_xD) had her matric farewell. This struck me for two reasons: my farewell was 6 years ago, and that little girl was 3 years old when I first clapped eyes on her. Little did I know the role she would play in my life.
My little girl is all growed up! My little girl is no longer little, and I can no longer refer to her as my “baby” sister. Well, I shouldn’t but I may just continue. My mom always says that she will be 90 in the shade, I’ll be married with kids, and I’ll still be her baby, so I can safely say the same applies here! My little girl is no longer tiny, and scrawny and doesn’t spend her time wrapped around her mom’s waist like a monkey (yes, we’re still going to call you monkey!) . She is no longer unable to read, to count, to spell. Instead, she has grown into a beautiful girl: capable, intelligent, and unique. She has achieved a degree of insight and enlightenment that I am yet to in my “old age”, and I often wonder where she gets it from, or from whom. I often struggle to wrap my head around the things this little girl thinks, and I often wonder what sometimes goes through her head, but I like to console myself with the thought that that she is no longer little and she doesn’t need me to think for her – that by 18, she is more than capable of thinking her own thoughts, and she is more than capable of getting herself out of (and into) trouble. I still try to remind her of what is right and what is wrong, but sometimes it doesn’t work, and that’s okay too, she will make mistakes, and short of having to bail her out of prison (sorry kid, you’re on your own – I’m broke) I’ll always be there to pick up the pieces as I have been for the last 15 years.
Next year, she is off to Rhodes, to start the life of an adult. She will be studying Journalist at Rhodes. This is not something I agree with, but such is life – your kids and kid-sisters aren’t always going to do things you agree with, and it is our responsibility to let them go out into the world and become the people they are going to become. This is what I imagine mothers feel like: hoping you’ve got it right, hoping they’ll make you proud. Actually, just hoping they don’t fuck it up royally – pride is a bonus! I have no doubt that she will make me proud, because besides growing up, she has grown up well. She has become someone for me to be proud of, and someone I want to continue to be proud of. She has grown from this little girl who used to sit in my room and listen patiently for hours while I read Harry Potter to her (in the middle of winter, with bronchitis, but I read nonetheless), who eventually grew old enough to read to herself, and who eventually grew old enough to read and understand what is going on around her. This is the little girl who used to walk down the street with me, hand in hand, and be oblivious to the stares and gawkers (if you haven’t yet gone to look at her twitter or scrolled down to see the photo, I’m white, she’s Indian) and in spite of it all, grow up to be a well-adjusted little girl with friends from every race, every background, and to love them all equally. This little girl is the girl who used to sit with me and help me with homework, and I swear she understood my maths more than I ever did. This is the little girl I used to give grammar and vocabulary lessons to, who has surpassed her teacher in both fields and knows the meaning of more words than I do, at age 24.
Maybe the time has come, my dearest little baby sister, to stop calling you a little girl. You are no longer little, nor are you a little girl. You have grown into a beautiful, young woman with the world waiting at her feet. May you grow even more and find whatever your heart desires, be it love, success, wealth, family or anything you fancy. My dearest young lady, now is the time for you to stretch your wings, and to fly. Stretch them wide, broaden your horizons, and grow into the person I know you will be, and the person I will continue to love with all my heart, and I will forever continue to be proud of.
Some Photos From The Matric Farewell
I never get to do fun things in Photoshop, so I decided to use this opportunity to have a bit of a laugh with some of the photos