I have countless memories of my big-headed, pre-teen self rumbling around the balcony of the New Ulm Junior High School auditorium, as my younger sister pranced around onstage in her sequin dance outfit with the rest of her sparkly dance team.
In boredom, I would run in the dark and hide behind some seats.
My sister, onstage, would twirl generally in the same rhythm and pace as all the other girls. But let’s be honest. The more out of sync little girls dance, the more adorable. Some girls would stand there feeling the snazzy texture of there bright purple dress. Other girls would get into the timely pop number with zeal to rival Freddie Mercury. And other girls would run to their moms, or cry, or flail sporadically, or watch the rest of the group and become so overwhelmed with the possibilities that they simply wouldn’t know what to do.
Which was my sister? I don’t remember which, exactly. I do know she was made of the bravest sort of material. She gave it her all up there. Smiling out at my mom and dad, not out of fear or need, but out of joy and little girly giddiness.
In between my bouts of rambunctious boyishness, I found time to stop and watch my sister dance. Older brother peering over the balcony railing, watching his little sister.
In 3 weeks I will watch her dance at her wedding. She’ll be in a sparkly dress. I’ll probably be hiding behind some chairs.
Because we never really grow up.