Saturday, January 5, 2008


Today: overwhelmed by my Whitney-sister.

You take someone’s adulthood for granted when you didn’t get to see it flower and grow. Whit’s been an adult for a good while now—I’d say that she was well into adulthood before I was (and I’ve got 2 years on her), and we’ve been geographically separated for most of it. The only times that we’re together are short weekends, holidays or vacations (all of which are too few and too far between). Not having been there to see her find more and more success in her kitchen, spank her son, take Jack out to stomp in puddles in his rain boots, or quit her job to stay home and be a mom—not having actually been there to see those things means that I have had to hear about them long distance and after-the-fact or via hearsay.

One part of being an adult that’s quite lovely is the choices—you get to make them for yourself, not have them made for you. My choices and those of my just-younger sister show some differences—the most notable being her child and son on the way. What’s nice about being a grown-up is that I can not only admire Whitney for her choices, but I get to appreciate the way she goes about handling the results of her life selections, and it does nothing to my pride or ego.

(The Whitleigh:)

I love what kind of a mother she is. I love that I’m not one, and I love that should I choose to become one, I will have had her example to pilot me. I was never able to step outside my even-more-miniature self and watch my mother parent. I think what her mothering resulted in is darn good—my sisters and I, we all love each other (a lot), the first three of us have married in the temple, and if any of us are not making good choices, we know we should be and why—but like I said, I never got to watch the founding happen. So because of that, I can say that Whitney is the best mother I’ve ever watched. And she should know that I do watch. I spy, sort of. I listen to what she says to Jack. I listen to how she talks about the Van-to-be. I listen to her tone when she talks to Jack. I watch her cook. I watch her serve. You’d think that all that spying on a person could result in some nasty knowings about one’s habits, but with Whit, that’s not the case. The littler sister has turned out to be a splendid example to the oldest sister; and another great part about the grown-up thing is that I really don’t mind saying so—I’m proud of it, proud of her.

(The Whitleigh's kids:)

These musings, if not ramblings, were inspired by Whit’s latest blog entry. She’s far from the Reno Romos, an eight-hour drive, so her blog is manna; her latest post, where she revealed that she was, yet again, right (she is having a boy—reference vehicle above), made me love my sissy even more and in a few simple ways. First, I love words—oh, how I love them, and when someone I know can string them together in a way that makes me smile, I send little love beams their direction, because the world is far too full of bad punctuation, misspellings, and uninteresting prattle (of which I realize I’m guilty, but such is life). Second, I am selfish (though there are spurts of insanity when I try to be less so), and Whitney is not—she is selfless, open, and giving. (She invited her MIL and FIL to watch the sex-determining ultra-sound.) Third, I appreciate wit (don’t pardon that pun; I kind of liked it) and humor, and Whit’s blogging is rife with both (and yes, they’re different things).

When we were adolescents, the second sister and I didn’t get along. At times, it was ugly, and I’ve expressed remorse in this very blog. If I’m able to get past all the yuckiness that characterized our relative maturation and causes me guilt, I feel justified in reflecting on how fortunate I am to have the family that I do. I love my sisters, each on a terribly unique level, and today, it’s Whitney that’s overwhelming me. My life, full as it is with work, road trips, and a perpetually cluttered house, would be incomplete without her bursts of young wisdom and giggle-inducing or jaw-dropping stories.


Lynley said...

Congratulations to Whitney! You'll have to tell her hello for me...we used to chat in the old days at Gap!

Sue said...

Should we think about sainthood?
St. Whitney. What do you think?

cat+tadd=sam said...

I love this.

Sue said...

This seals it: when I am dead you guys will still be friends!