This is my younger sister. It was her sixteen birthday yesterday. Jackie and I don’t talk that much or that often, but we had a nice chat last night. She was in fourth grade when I left for college, so I haven’t really been around for her “formative” years, so to speak. Last night she mentioned some minor (though, who am I to say they’re minor?) boy troubles she’s having. I told her to light some candles, write in a diary, and cry, which is how I still deal with those troubles (except maybe adding a bottle of wine or a good friend to cry on). I feel like today’s sixteen-year-olds don’t do the old-fashioned “writing in a diary and crying” thing when they’re a little heartbroken, which is too bad.
Anyway, Jackie’s a very smart and talented young woman, and I often wish I could be around to see her, and maybe help her, grow up. I always found it enormously helpful (though sometimes harmful as well) to have my older sister around when I was floundering in high school in South Dakota. Hopefully I can still be someone to look up to for my little sister, despite the miles and years between us.
[from the archives; Summer, 2008, Brookings, SD]