Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Cousins and A Bit of a Request

In the past few weeks I’ve watched both of my teenage cousins transform themselves into Homecoming and Fall Formal versions of themselves. They slipped into fancier dresses (quite a departure from their usual jeans and Aeropostale t-shirts) and traded sleek, smooth ponytails for long ringlets. They were both stunningly beautiful, as they are in their day to day less glammed up lives. It’s been hard for me to wrap my mind around the fact that these quite grown up looking young women are, in fact, the same two girls who not all that long ago had chubby baby cheeks and toddled around learning to walk. I have pictures of flowers and stars in my office they drew me just a few years ago, but these days they’ve traded their crayons for cell phones. Instead of colorful drawings I get texted almost daily updates about high school/middle school life (which are sometimes pretty colorful themselves.)

Over the past few years, my relationship with my teenage cousins has gone from them being my little kid cousins who always had requests to entertain them at family functions to being the cousins I genuinely look forward to spending time with. They never fail to make me laugh with stories and their antics. Going shopping with them involves piles and piles of clothes, long wait times in the dressing room, and sometimes trying on outfits their parents would never let them out of the house in. We all enjoy going out for Mexican, not just for the food but also the cute waiters. We swap teen chick-lit books I don’t admit to reading in public (Pretty Little Liars!) and they give me an excuse to go to midnight viewings of movies like Harry Potter and Twilight. (My friend and I would go anyway, but it makes us look a little less like pathetic if we have a teenager or two along.)

In short, these two teenagers have really grown up into pretty fantastic individuals and I’m excited to see where the next few years takes them, even if they do at times make me feel old when they ask me who Brooke Shields is or bust me for saying things like “when I was your age.”

Lately, one of them has been facing a pretty serious health issue no one her age should have to deal with. As with everything, she’s handled it with grace and maturity beyond her years and hasn’t lost her witty sense of humor, even though behind those laughs are very real fears and tears. It greatly saddens me to think of the scary scenarios going through her head, when she should be cheering with her friends in the student section at the high school football game without a care in the world.

Tomorrow she’s undergoing surgery. If you could, please take a few minutes to say a prayer, send good thoughts/energy her way, or light a candle for her. I’ve spent the last few sleepless nights talking to God, the Universe, Buddha, and whoever else might be listening that after tomorrow she can focus on her recovery and soon be back to the teenager she deserves to be, free of such grown-up like worries or fears. I know she (and I) would really appreciate any thoughts and prayers you could send her way.