Linda holds a special place in our family because she was first for all of us. She was my parents' first grandchild. My older brother's first (and only) child. For my other brother and myself she was the first niece. She was the princess. And we were all in love with her; really we still are.
As usual, I can only speak for myself, so here it goes.
Linda was the first newborn I ever held. She was 3 days old when I held her for the first time, and somewhere there is a God-awful picture of this. I am wearing the ugly glasses and I have a very scared look on my face. I was 14 at the time, and was very close to Sonia, Linda's mother. I really really wanted a sister when I was little, as most girls do - especially when you have two older brothers. Sonia was as close as I got. She helped me get ready for school dances, we talked about boys I liked, and she even tweezed my eye brows the first time. I was maid of honor at the wedding.
When Baby Linda was born, I remember my brother saying "She looks just like Lisa" referring to his memory of when I was born. I was stoked! She was my niece, my little sister, my baby doll, all in one. I have always felt very protective of her. Last year she told a friend of mine during my wedding weekend that our relationship had always been more like mother-daughter than aunt-niece. When you consider she has a good mother, two good grandmothers and other aunts, that is pretty amusing.
|Linda and I at my condo in Athens|
I guess I have always been the aunt to give advice (wanted and unwanted), and I have always given her a bit of hard time because I want her to aim high, higher, highest. I only do it because I think she can be anything, do anything, have anything she wants. I really do. I often think I see her as so much more than she sees herself. And I think she might get that from me.
When I was 22-23 I had no idea who I was. I think she frequently sees me as who I have been in my 30s, because that is her experience and memory of me. We hardly saw each other when I was in my 20s, I was too busy jumping around the world, trying to figure out who I was and what I wanted. I always had a bit of a goddez complex. I knew I was attractive. I knew I was smart. But I didn't really know what a goddez I truly could be. I thought things came to you and you just did the best you could with them. I never really believed the world was mine, or that I could change my reality into whatever I wanted it to be. It took 10 addresses, 15 jobs, and a starter marriage for me to come to see that I truly was "the master of my fate, the captain of my soul". Youth is definitely wasted on the young. I guess I wish I had someone like the older version of myself to guide me through the rough patches.
I want her to have all my wisdom and power that I have at 37 at the age of 23. I want her to hear me out, and learn through my mistakes so she doesn't repeat them. I want her to be Lisa 2.0. Problem is, one has too much fun making mistakes and most of us have to learn through our own experience. Most of all, I want to spare her the pain, I want to spare her the disappointments that come when life does not go the way we planned. I wish I could use a Harry Potter wand and make it all better for her, but I know I can't.
|On my wedding day.|