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FDOC

It’s my youngest siblings’ first day of school. (FDOC, as we apparently refer to it now.) One, a middle schooler, and the other, a highschool upperclassman, will be waking up this morning at 7 a.m., and loading into the car. When I lived at home, my mom drove all of us. It was a drive peppered with shouted music requests and sudden exclamations of, “I forgot my backpack!” With four kids, this process always proved to be a frantic, mad rush. The atmosphere was loud, messy and sometimes a little angry– one time, I aggressively squirted toothpaste into Haley’s hair. On another occasion, Haley did the same to me. Revenge can be so sweet…

With freshly toasted Eggo waffles in hand, as the oldest child, I always got the front seat. (This unwritten rule continues. Each time one of us goes away for school, the next oldest child moves to the front!) Day in and day out, this morning routine not only grew mundane, but incredibly frustrating. It’s difficult to be beholden to four other people in order to avoid the inevitable infraction or detention. I recall being antsy and irritable, consumed by my own daily issues. Somehow, my test seemed so much more significant than Haley’s. My performance, more stressful than her game.

In hindsight, and with reflection, I sense my teenage selfishness and it leaves a bitter taste in my mouth. Being positive and living in the moment is surely something I strive to do, but even in writing this post, I’m clearly still caught up in the past. And honestly, on today of all days, as Ry and Whit begin another school year, and an important transition, I wish I could be riding with them in the car.

I’d tell them this: Savor these moments of family time. Everyone says that, and I rarely listened, so please, LISTEN TO ME. As your older sister, I know for a fact you will long for this. On my FDOC, yesterday, I sure could have used some toothpaste to the hair. Even if it annoyed me, what a story! What a life!

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