This weekend, we were able to travel to my home town and visit with my family. It was a real treat. I've missed them quite a bit since we moved.
Most of my family was there. My younger twin sisters were speaking in church because they are leaving for a mission for our church in eight days. Crazy!
Saturday night, as we were having family scriptures and prayers, I looked over at my younger brother. He is sixteen years old. I just kind of glanced at him, but it suddenly hit me how grown-up he looked. He's over six feet tall, and he has been for a couple of years, but maturity is beginning to settle into him. An overwhelming feeling of love filled me and my mind flashed back to when he was just a baby and he and I had been very close friends. I used to call him Buh-boy (don't ask me why) and we'd go everywhere together. Since I left home, we aren't as close as we used to be. He's grown up and become his own person. Though part of me looks back at that little boy with kind of a nostalgic sadness, the other part of me enjoys what he has grown into. It is fun to see the adult that he is becoming.
My baby brother is also growing up. He has become a wonderful friend to his nieces and nephews. He is a good example to them, and he is trying hard to find his place in the world. In only a few years, he will be all grown up too, and my mother and father will be "empty-nesters." For a couple of people who had ten children, that will be an incredible transition for them.
My sisters did a fantastic job at church. They gave great talks, and I truly felt the Spirit as they spoke. They will be wonderful missionaries. It will also be difficult for them. Their whole lives, they've never really been apart. I think back on the curly-haired little babies that they were, and I wonder where time went? When did they get so old and mature? Who are these attractive young women and why don't I know them as well as I should? They are such individual people, but I don't know what their hopes and their dreams are. Who do they want to become? What do they like to do?
I realized as I contemplated the things that made each of them unique that I had a huge regret. I regretted that I hadn't spent more individual time one-on-one with my siblings. Sometimes it was easy to get caught up in my own life and take my family for granted. They never change, right?
I'm finding out how wrong I am. In my mind, my little siblings are still the kids that they were when I left home. They are still adorable, small, and waiting for me to return to visit. However, I'm beginning to realize that I've let time slip by me. They haven't held still, they've changed and grown. I want to know the people that they've become. They are neat people.
I also want them to get to know me. I'd do anything for my family. I love them so much. I love my in-laws as well, and I'm so grateful that I have such amazing grandparents for Kevin and any future children we will have.
My sisters are coming to visit today, to spend some time with me, do some last minute shopping, and visit another sister who was unable to come to their talks. Hopefully I'll be able to make up some lost time.
I'd like that.