Last Thursday, my youngest flew to Nashville to visit her sisters. It was the first time she had flown alone. It was the first time she had seen her oldest sister since she moved in January and it was also the first time they spent time together for days on end, without their parental units.
Reese was a little nervous about the trip. Andy walked her to the gate and waited until the plane took off. The girls were instructed to be at the gate in Nashville to pick her up. Reese’s plane arrived 30 minutes early and while the girls were at the airport they had not made it to the gate. She navigated just fine without anyone and even though WE were stressed, they all took it in stride. Everything is always better once you are with your sisters.
It sounds like they had a great time, but everyone’s perspective is different. The older girls worked really hard to make her trip fun but they have their own lives. They are busy and they can’t just entertain all day, everyday. Reese had nothing but good things to say, but as a 15 year old she still expects the world to revolve around her a little. She said, “it was definitely different because they have a whole life without us. They have work, classes, relationships and I’m not really part of that anymore.” Of course, they included her in all aspects of their lives, but it is a big change from when they all lived at home under one roof.
I remember the first time my sisters both visited me without our parents. It didn’t go as smoothly as this trip went. It was roughly 21 years ago in the spring of 1997. I remember it vividly as I had just had Sydney and it was the week before Easter. Unbeknownst to me, G and Lisa talked our parents into a road trip without them. To this day I still don’t know how they convinced our parents to let them drive 20+ hours across the country to see me. Cell phones weren’t even a thing yet. Off they went for spring break with their CDs, Twizzlers and Diet Pepsi. They thought they would surprise me and just show up on my doorstep one afternoon.
I was rocking Sydney to sleep in the middle of a freak snow storm when I got a phone call from an unknown number. I answered hesitantly to find G on the other end. She was frantically trying to tell me in 30 seconds or less about how they needed a ride because their car was totaled and they were just 30 minutes away. What? You can imagine my surprise to not only find out that my sisters were coming to visit, but they needed someone to come get them off the side of the highway. Still marginally confused, I called Andy at work. We agreed that it was best if he went to pick them up rather than me taking out an infant and an almost 2 year old to find them. He called G back, found a tow truck and managed the immediate issue of getting the car to the mechanic and my sisters back to our house.
As my sisters walked through the door they said, “Surprise!” Since everyone was okay you couldn’t help but laugh at the situation.
Apparently, they drove into a snow storm and the roads became icy. The car in front of them swerved and stopped as they hit the ice, G was also able to stop, but the car behind them slammed into everyone. G and Lisa were okay, but their car was sandwiched in the middle. Okay, I really don’t remember the details as I wasn’t in the car, but there was a snowstorm, there were other cars involved and G’s car was in fact totaled.
I was so happy to see them, but I felt bad for them, too. They were exhausted from driving across the country and then to get SO CLOSE only to be in an accident. As a parent myself, I can attest to the fact that a car accident is definitely in the top 10 of calls you DON’T WANT TO RECEIVE. Our poor parents.
Once, we knew the car was at the shop, Andy had relayed the damage to my dad and my sisters had spoken to both of our parents at length we decided it would be fun to take a little visit to the emergency room. We just wanted to be sure that G and Lisa were okay. At this point there was still a lot of adrenaline on board and we didn’t want any surprises. Fortunately, they checked out okay and we could get on with our sister trip.
Now, remember I had a 6 week old infant and a not quite 2 year old. My life revolved around diapers and feedings so there was a lot of excitement when we were able to color Easter eggs. My sisters probably felt like they had just been dropped into the the twilight zone or at least the church nursery!
I honestly don’t remember much else about that trip other than we laughed a lot and they taught Alex the love of Twizzlers. They were there for over a week trying to figure out the car damage before flying home. I can’t speak to their perspective, but I was so happy to see them regardless of the situation. I have lived a thousand miles from home for 25 years and I am always happy when I get to see my sisters. Maybe it’s time for another sister trip. Mom, can come, too!
This time let’s skip the road trip and fly. I’ll get the Twizzlers and I’ll even meet you at your gate!
Sunshine & Sarcasm,
Lowi & G