Dear Anna, Michelle & Caleb-
I found out I was going to be the big sister to triplets almost exactly 23 years ago. How little I understood of the magnitude you three would have on my life and the life of our family. We doubled in size overnight. As an expectant mother, I now have a profound appreciation and wonder for our parents because they held it together better than I think I would have.
I know we love to reminisce about how I used to torture you as children: making you kiss my feet, demonstrating my ferociousness by throwing Joshua out of the window and being an all around tyrant. What you probably don’t remember very clearly is how dearly I loved each one of you. How I used to crawl into your shared crib when you were tiny babies to cuddle and sleep with all three of you. How Anna & Michelle used to grind your teeth when you slept and being the self-sacrificing sister I am, stuck my fingers into your mouths to ensure you didn’t hurt yourself during the night. How I changed your diapers, got peed on by Caleb, pooped on by all three of you, and fed you more bottles and mouthfuls of food than I can probably count in a week. How we did a fantastic photo shoot in the backyard when you were in pre-school because I couldn’t believe how good looking my little babies were. I learned how to be a mom helping raise the three of you and I am eternally grateful for that experience, though it’s taken two decades to get to this point.
Fast forward about 20 years to where we are today. My “babies” are all grown up, for the most part. Michelle, you’ve been married over a year and are about to be a dynamic music teacher. Anna, you have just begun the journey to becoming a doctor (on retainer for me!) and are set to marry this winter. Caleb, off in the working world and probably earning more than me, you will no doubt take over Washington with your drive and ambition. And I couldn’t be more proud of each one. From early on, we knew you were special kids. You were in the super GT classes at Mantua Elementary, a pilot program for the elitest of the elite and from then on, ushered into nothing but Gifted & Talented, Advanced & AP classes. You three had your pick of colleges and chose the best for each of your individual talents and dreams. It has truly been a gift to watch each of you turn into your own person, something Mom & Dad were very adamant about nurturing from the beginning.
Now as you embark onto your almost mid-twenties, it seems surreal to me. Can I honestly be that old?! Who are these people? These ADULTS who call themselves my baby brother and sisters? It’s hard to wrap my mind around the fact we are almost on a level playing field but it feels nice. It feels wonderful, in fact, to be able to share in the challenges and joys that are faced once in the “real world”.
So today, as you celebrate each of your individual accomplishments and graduations from college, know that my heart is there with you. I am enormously proud and I love each one of you so dearly. Congratulations and I can’t wait to see what comes next!
Your Big Sister, Friend & Biggest Fan