Dear baby brother,
This June, I will have officially been your big sister for eighteen years. Eighteen long, entertaining, fun years. You’re graduating high school which is insanity to me because just yesterday you were five years old and wrestling with the neighbor in the front yard. You used to be my short and chunky little brat and then I turned around and you were towering over me with a beard and could kick my ass. I’m still trying to do the math when all of this happened. But now that you’ll be graduating from high school, you’re going far away to college in August and your life is about to take a major turn. When I went to school, it was different. I only went an hour away. You’re going seven hours away to a school lost in a snowy tundra. The roles are shifting. For one year, mom and dad are going to have an empty nest, but then I’m coming back home and you’re going to be the lost college kid in the household. You’re going to be the one that mom is worried about all the time that you’re eating enough and waking up for class. You’re going to be the one that dad misses spending time with at home. You’re going to be the one getting snack boxes from aunts and grandma. So while you’re away for the next four years there are a few things you need to remember when you’re living away from home.
The first thing is don’t forget to call mom. For the past eighteen years you’ve always had her there for you, making your lunches, doing your laundry, making sure you’ve done all your work for school and your chores, making sure you have everything you need. When you’re at school, she’s not going to be there to always check on you. You’ve been a constant in her life for eighteen years and just like that, you’re going to be gone. She’s going to miss you. She’s not going to tell you every day that she misses you, so you need to call her and let her hear your voice from time to time. You’re not going to want to call home for the first few weeks at school, but after those few weeks of tasting blissful freedom, check back home.
The second thing, also don’t forget to text dad. He’s not like mom and he’s not going to say he misses you at all. But he’s going to tell mom that it’s weird not having you around the house and he’s going to think of you when he does and sees certain things. He’s going to text you at random times during the day and it’s 9/10 going to be a picture of something that he saw and he thinks you need to see it too. He’s going to be the only man in the house while you’re gone and he’s going to miss you, even if he doesn’t say it.
The third thing, don’t forget to text me. You follow in dad’s footsteps where you don’t express anything you’re feeling with words. But, believe it or not, despite all our years of fighting over stupid things and disagreements, you’re going to miss me. I grew up in the room next to yours for eighteen years and then when I left for school, you weren’t my neighbor anymore. You weren’t the person I was fighting for the bathroom with and you weren’t the person that woke me up with music blasting anymore. It was a strange feeling and it starts to go away with time, but nonetheless is strange.
The last thing, please just take care of yourself and remember what you’re there for. Trust me, it got into my head a little bit that I had freedom in college and that I could eat candy for dinner and pop for breakfast if I wanted to. I could stay up until the latest hours of the night watching Netflix or playing video games if I wanted to. I want you to have fun while you’re at school, I want you to make so many new friends and I want you to experience the joys of college life. But, I also want you to eat enough and make sure your clothes are clean and that weird bacteria doesn’t start growing on your dishes in your room. And most importantly, I want you to remember that the ultimate reason you’re seven hours away from home is to come back with a degree.
I can’t wait for you to experience college and learn new qualities about yourself. It’s going to be eye-opening and more amazing than you know. I’m going to miss having you around the house, but that’s what the phone is for.
Love, your big sister