Tuesday, January 27, 2009

It's so hard to say goodbye....

My sister Jessica left for England today. Avery and I made a surprise visit to Detroit to see her off. It was nice to be able to watch her walk through security at the airport alone. I think this may be one of the first big things that she has experienced on her own...without mom and dad, and without her twin. There were a lot of tears...we were all sad to see her leave for the next 5 months, but I think we were mostly proud of her. As I write this, Jennifer is sitting on the couch without Jessica...it's odd.
I am so excited for them both. Jennifer leaves for France on Saturday, and I know that both of them will have adventures and experience that will change them forever. I hope that this will change them, but also have them be more secure in who they are. I can't believe how much they've grown up, and how independent they've become.
I can still remember how protective I felt when they went to Kindergarten (which was also the 1st day of my senior year), and how I wanted to stay with them all day, and hold on tight, and not let anyone hurt them. I think it was just as scary for me as it was for them. They both came home on the bus, and were so excited! They had learned a song about Miss Sally and her Steamboat...and sang it word for word...in unison. It's this same excitement for learning that took them to the top of their class (as valedictorian and salutatorian), and both with 4.0 GPAs so far at Grand Valley.
I am anxious for them too. I know that they will be fine, but what if something goes wrong. What if they need a friend? They've always had one another! What if they need family? They've always had one another! What if they need a listening ear (in English), or a shoulder, or someone to "get" their inside jokes? They've always had each other! I think this separation will be good, but I'm still scared for them.
And..I have to admit...I'm also jealous. They are going to have amazing experiences on their own. They are going to learn so much about themselves as individuals, and grow so much! They are going to see England and France, and probably Ireland and Wales and lots of other great places, and they'll get to experience some of that together! They will meet new people, and try new things. They'll spend some time completely out of their comfort zone, and do things all alone. They'll learn all about Independence, and about how to ask for help. They'll learn about a new place, and new cultures. They'll fumble through some really great experiences, and soar through others. They'll laugh in French and English, and cry in both languages too. They are going to be amazed with the world and what they can do with it.
I'm pretty lucky. After everything is said and done, and they come home in June...I'll give them a new niece or nephew 2 months later...and then they will move in with us. I'll get to hear the stories first hand, and live vicariously through them.
I love them so much, and I KNOW that they'll do great! My little sisters are all grown up!

Jessica and Jennifer will both be keeping blogs while they are away....check them out (they are linked to the right). Jennifer's is in the title in French, and Jessica's is called The Rest is still unwritten.


JessLitLvr said...

Well, I made it Michele! I'm sitting in my room in Surbiton right now. I'll update my blog later tonight, but I just wanted to tell you how much I appreciated your update. I love you, big sis!

Jennifer said...

My grad from last semester is living in England (Sheffield) so if she needs anyone from the states I can give her your information. She is a loon but is an absolute delight-and can be responsible when she puts her mind to it!. Hope all is well!
Jenny (McIntosh)