Little Sister, All Grown Up.
Okay, so part of the reason I have been conspicuously absent from my blog is that my little sister came and stayed with Bryan and me for the last few weeks before she set off for college. She was about to turn 18, and was incredibly anxious to get out of tiny little Bath County, so we agreed that she could come squat in Chesterfield for a bit.
We agreed before she came that this visit wouldn't be like the normal visits she and our brother had made to our house, which generally consisted of lots of shopping and lots of eating out. We would want her to act like she lived there if she was going to be there that long, with household duties and hopefully with a job to earn some spending money. As it turned out, I have some awesome friends who employed her while she was here. Maia and Sue gave her babysitting work, and Leslie somehow finagled an actual full-ish-time gig at her own workplace for Victoria doing clerical stuff. This was awesome, even though it did mean she would not be sitting at my house cataloging the assloads of clothes and such we need to take to the Goodwill. :) (Seriously, use the It's Deductible! software by TurboTax. You will thank me when you get your tax return.)
Anyway, we had an extra car Vic could drive, but since she'd be working downtown and I work downtown, I suggested she, too, take the bus in to the city. She liked this idea, because that meant she didn't have to drive in big scary Richmond city traffic. :) Of course, it also meant that she had to take a *real* city bus from MCV to near the Science Museum. Oh, lord, did that girl have some stories to tell about those buses. :)
The first day she went to work, I rode the bus with her and was trying to make sure she was going to remember where to get off the bus the next day, because I come to work way earlier than she would be coming. I looked at her after asking if she thought she had all of what I was telling her, and she said, "Lydia, you don't understand, it's like country mouse/city mouse!"
And then I got it. I mean, I know the girl grew up in the middle of nowhere, but I guess I hadn't quite realized how overwhelming functioning in a city could be. Things I take for granted (like, for example, walking on concrete?) were basically foreign to her. That day I knew that while she had her own reasons for coming to stay with us, it was really fortunate that she had chosen to do so--the girl needed a transition period before she was plopped down in Newport News to fend for herself!
So we had a very nice three and a half week transitional visit. :) The time she was here was hectic (sometimes I wonder when my life is *not* hectic), but I really enjoyed it. The three of us became a nice little family unit, with Bryan as brotherdad and me as sistermom... since we still felt like we needed to "parent" her to some degree, but really we're her siblings and she has two parents, so it was an interesting line. Personally I think it worked out pretty well, I think she'd say the same?
She was here to celebrate her birthday and mom's birthday, and then it was time for Bryan and I to pack her back up and drive her to college. Victoria's going to Christopher Newport University, and lemme tell you, I don't know if all colleges are doing this now, but EASIEST COLLEGE MOVE IN EVER!!!! You pull up in a line of cars, then wait your turn until the move-in volunteer students are ready with their rolly hotel carts and big plastic bins on wheels, then they unload your car and take everything up to the student's room, and unload it there. Uh, seriously. Didn't lift a finger from the time we finished packing up the car (although that was finger-lifting enough!) until we had to put things in their place in Victoria's dorm room. Excellent!
It was bittersweet to leave Victoria at school, but she's in good hands--she's rooming with her best friend since elementary school, whose name is also Victoria. I'm hoping they take very good care of each other. :)