It seems that I’m aging at a rapid pace near the end of another school year at St. Thomas. By fall, I’ll have turned the momentous 21, moved from Dowling into a house and survived being a two-year-old’s nanny (I’m optimistic, anyway), and the self-descriptor “junior” will roll gracefully off my tongue. However, with all these changes heading my way, I’m still most dumbfounded by the transformations coming for those around me.
The oddest examples are those of many of my friends getting married this summer; they are only a couple years older than I am. Most bizarrely, I’ll be maid of honor at my sister’s wedding in late May. Don’t get me wrong; I’m sure it will be a classy event that will celebrate a lovely union between Lori and her fiancé, Justin.
It’s just been more than a little strange to remember her playing wedding dress-up as a six-year-old and to now see her fitted for the real deal (appropriately, whenever we played, she was always the bride and I was the bridesmaid). I have found myself watching a large number of nuptial flicks, Mom has been altering my dress (it has pockets for the tissues I’ll need), and I’m working on my gift and travel plans. I will start the toast plans soon!
Most of all, I don’t think it’s hit me yet that in a little over a month, I’ll be watching Lori walk down the aisle, crying my eyes out (those darn allergies!) and reminiscing. She will be really beautiful. She always has been.
This all leaves me feeling a bit older and closer to leaving the school bubble and entering “the real world.” I know I have no real claims to the word “old” yet; I’m in my ripe and full youth (or so I’ve been told) and really consider myself as too young to do a lot of grown-up stuff. However, I’m beginning to understand why my birthday is often accompanied by the groans of my nine older siblings. I know I’ll be groaning when my oldest niece turns 10 this summer.
There’s something scary, sad, romantic and exciting about aging, all at the same time. Overall, though, the opportunity to age and to be there for family and friends as they age is a gift. I feel especially blessed that as I become a “bigger kid,” opportunities and gifts seem to grow as well.