Essays · Family · Life Stuff

Second Graders Have Feelings, Too

This is part of a series sharing old essays from my personal blog years ago. Hope you enjoy.


I found this picture of my wee little sister Fiona rocking out in our old music room. I think she was 2. She’s 7 (edit: now she’s 12, whoa!) and the smartest kid I’ve ever known, and I’m not just saying that because I’m her big sis! I’m proud of her, and I miss her.

I don’t recall if I’ve mentioned that she travels with my mom and step-dad. They live a nomadic life (Canfield of Dreams) and she gets to see all sorts of different places and people. I think the exposure she’s getting to other cultures, people, and ways of living is valuable for someone her age. Still, I miss her very much. When you’re watching from a distance, the whole growing-up thing goes even faster.

(Update: I’m happy to say that they have decided to settle down just a couple hours away from me and I see her all the time now.)

I was shocked and a little nervous when I heard she was in 2nd grade now. (See, I can’t keep up with these things!) Shocked and nervous because she’s my little baby who has no worries or cares, and I remember being in 2nd grade, and I did in fact have many worries and cares. A 2nd grader is a full-blown person. I had opinions, fears, neuroses, and deep complex thoughts. How did she get there already? She’s just a baby! I have to wonder what her opinions, fears, and deep complex thoughts are.

My job as a big sister (an extra big sister, since I have 16 years on her) is to make sure she knows I am always here. That she can talk to me about deep complex thoughts. Or laugh. Or cry. I never had a sister growing up, and I love having one now. I love being the big sis. I just want to keep doing a good job at it.

Who remembers what it was like to be a second grader? I remember that I hated math, because I cheated on a math test then realized the classmate I was copying from was doing an entirely different worksheet. I loved Anne of Green Gables, and the kinship I found in this fictional, imaginative, redheaded girl. I wore flower-printed leggings and thought it was cool to wear my flowered scrunchie on my wrist like a bracelet. (Who else was an early 90s kid? lol.) I made my dad homemade cards expressing sentiments such as, “I don’t care if you’re a dirty man…I still love you!” (He worked on cars and, to be fair, was often quite unclean!) I wanted to grow up to be a missionary in a foreign land.

What about you – what do you now look back on as an adult with surprise, nostalgia, laughter, or the like?


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