"Are You Wearing a Bra?"

When I was 17 or so - long after I had lost my virginity, gotten my period, started planning for college, and reached other major teenage milestones - my older brother Steve and I were horsing around and he slapped me on the back. Immediately, he withdrew his hand as if something had bitten him, and scowled.

"Are you wearing a bra?" he asked, staring at me incredulously.

Uh, yeah, for like five years now.

It was then I realized that my big brother - thirteen years my senior - would always see me as a little girl. The look on his face that day was priceless. I wonder if, now that I'm approaching 30, he still sees me as the same tag-along kid that always begged to chew his (used) gum and was easily coerced into mooning his friends?

I know how he feels. My oldest niece, T.J., got married this evening. She's 21, but I still see her as the sweet, pixie-ish child who said "lellow" instead of "yellow" and called Pop-Tarts "top parts." It's the same with my nephew Benjamin, who got married at the end of March (at the ripe old age of 18). In my eyes, they're still just babies ... even though T.J. is a whopping two years older than I was when I got married. I need to start seeing them for the adults that they've become, but first I've got to come to terms with the fact that they're not in Pampers any more.

If it's this bad with my nieces and nephews, how's it going to be with my own kids? Will I be one of those mothers who can't let go? You know the type: the mom who brings a sack lunch to her son at college (or worse, to his office) and scares off potential wives. Good Lord, I hope not - but at this rate, when I'm having trouble grasping the fact that my "little" nieces and nephews are now married adults, I can't imagine that I won't have some difficulty accepting my sons' independence at some point.

At least I'll have plenty of practice before that day comes. Between Curtis's family and mine, we have 21 nieces and nephews ... so maybe by the time a few more of them get married, I'll be a little more at ease with the prospect of my sons' life transitions.

Are you like this with your kids (or the kids in your extended family)?


  1. 21 nieces/nephews? that's a lot of wedding gifts ;) save up.

  2. My cousin just turned 19 in October and is already married and has a kid (both before me!) I am 10 years older than her, so I grew up babysitting her all the time and feeling more like her aunt than her cousin. It was the strangest feeling watching her exchange vows on the alter, and now decorate her home and rock her baby boy to sleep. Hopefully I will adjust to it eventually, but for now, it still just seems surreal.

  3. Yes! Sadly, none of our nieces and nephews expect ANYTHING from us on holidays, birthdays, etc. ... because seriously, even if we spent only $5 apiece on them at Christmas or whatever, that's still over $100 (and come on, what kid wants a piddly $5 gift anyway, LOL!).

    Jenn, I know that feeling too ... the little girl I babysat for two summers has a daughter that's, like, two years older than Colin! It freaked me out so much to hear that SHE had a kid and I didn't!

  4. Um hello.....I am a great aunt already - not just one kid but three!! Yeah Shanna's married & has a kid, Samatha has 2 kids & Ely is engaged....Talk about feeling old! :-)

  5. Yes, you'll probably feel pretty sentimental about all the rites of passage that your boys go through. I cried every time I took one of you kids to Kindergarten for the first time, every time one of you walked to the grocery store by yourself for the first time, and every time you spent the night away from home. It's what mom's do, and it's okay. You'll know when to let go.....and they'll let you know when they need you!


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