My Sister's Getting Married

I'm pretty sure this is the title of a new movie. But it's actually the title of my life today. My only sister, four years younger, was recently engaged to her long, long, long time boyfriend and roommate. She floated across my driveway, positively beaming with joy when she arrived to share their exciting news. I am genuinely ecstatic for her and her man.
But in the days that have followed this joyful celebration, I have realized something. For the past 4, no 7 years, well, maybe my whole life, I have always been first. First to graduate from college, first to get married, first to have a grandchild, first to have another grandchild. I have really settled in to my position at center stage whenever something new happens in my life. My family is great about rallying behind me, they call and send cards, they attend parties and share their joy with me. But this year, my second child (and last, if I have anything to do with it) turned one. And I came to the realization that all the "Big" things in my life (college, wedding, pregnancy, children) have happened. Now I look ahead to menopause, polygrip, and even more gravity. Oh yeah, and survival of life with TWO teenaged girls in my future.
My sister, her engagement, her life just jumped out of the background and commanded the spotlight. A sparkling new solitaire flashing on her ring finger, a bright future laid out before her full of ceremonies, honeymoon, marital bliss (and gifts), and then, hopefully pregnancy(s) and parenting.
My mom doesn't linger on the phone when I call-she forgets to ask about my girls and how they are doing. She's distracted by the wedding, my sister's news. Don't get me wrong, I am nothing short of over-the-moon for this. I cannot wait to see my gorgeous little sis walk down the aisle. And just as she is embarking on the greatest journey of her life, of exciting "firsts" and challenges, I am preparing to send my kids off to public school, my little "firsts" are growing up already. I'm looking back on the pace of my 20s with melancholy and ahead to the selflessness of motherhood and the end of a stay-at-home era. Soon enough, I will put away my jammies and face the working world again without the promise of achieving career greatness (like I did upon my first entry into career land). Because this time I can't give 110%, my heart and my purpose lies with my children and a family I have helped to create and shape. The career world is a distraction, a dim opportunity to fill my time while I watch my girls grow up in their own classrooms, pave their own ways and find a path to their own "firsts".
So maybe this is what they mean when they say "Older and Wiser". Because I express these new found feelings devoid of grief or envy of my sister or my daughters. I know my place, I chose my path (and it is a good one) and what was once a self centered spotlight is now a beacon of love, joy and selflessness with which I can proudly shine on my own daughters, and my fabulous little sister.

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