With wedding season (rather seasons I should say, I swear I’ve been attending weddings every year for the past 5 years and they won’t end) at basically at an all-time peak for my age group, and continuing – there are so many things that are about to change. Changes can be very scary, we become so comfortable with how life has always been for us, that when something changes, a sea of anxiety takes over, submerging everything that you’ve always believed would stay the same, doesn’t. There’s a season and a time to every purpose, we are not always in control of what happens in life, but we can learn to let go and let God. This chapter in my and my family’s life is about to close and be opened to new chapters and beginnings very soon. A chapter is coming to an end with both my siblings getting married this year (one in September and the other in October) and leaving the family nest… Two siblings in one year, back to back – anyone who’s desi (South Asian) knows how big of a deal (and expensive) that is.
I’ve always had messy hair
My brother, sister and I are all one year apart; brother being the oldest, sister being the youngest and me, the middle child – yes, yes, throw your middle child jokes but the truth is I am the favourite, the golden child. We grew up always very close, especially with us being close in age. We played house together, hide and seek, building basement forts and other various games and activities most children play growing up, before technology that is, we had to be creative, and that we were. We didn’t grow up having all the luxuries we have today, we were far from even middle class, but our parents worked hard to try to give us everything our little hearts desired, but it wasn’t always the case. Having three children one year apart is expensive and the sole breadwinner for the family was my dad, so we didn’t see him much growing up because he worked so much. My dad would work while we were awake and come home when we were asleep, I remember telling him as a little girl that he should come see us sometimes because I thought he didn’t live with us. Nevertheless, our childhood is something we don’t regret and my parents made sure it was a good one, even though we didn’t have much.
Our childhood memories start back in our old townhouse in Brampton on Stokes Road. I won’t ever forget this street, it’s where most of our best childhood memories live and come from. Every kid on the block was basically our friend, everyone knew everyone on that street – it was like a little community where the block knew who was who. Childhood adventures and many friends, that even till this day, we still have kept in touch with. This time in our lives was amazing, they were simple times. Sure, there were tough times, but for the most part, even though we didn’t have a lot, they were special. Times where my cousin would come from the USA and stay for the summer, or when we would play and cause trouble with the cousins that lived on the same street, or times where my toddler sister would run out of the house, all around the street and my mother would have to chase her, or times where I would be bad, beat up kids, and chase them with a dead mouse, to spitting at a priest that came to our house (I was a devil child growing up believe it or not). All these memories and many more come from there, times as a family, where we didn’t have schedules and busy lives, it was just us.
I was always the bravest
As we got older, my mom also started to work, we moved a couple times, went to different schools – each chapter closed and a new one opened, but we stayed together. Even in university, none of us ever lived abroad or on campus. Yes, we have busy lives and our own schedules, but we know we’re going to come back home. However, you can say we lived a sheltered life – in a sense that our mother took and still takes care of most of the things we should have been doing on our own (laundry, cooking, cleaning etc.). Also, it’s not culturally acceptable for any of us to move out and live on our own before we get married, mostly applies to girls. I think many desi kids can relate, especially with parents that grew up back home, the older generation, it’s acceptable (mostly mandatory) that everyone is to stay with their families until they’re married. Family ties are a very important part of our culture, and so rather than pushing their children to explore the world and be independent, in most cases, it’s the opposite, they want to keep them close. My point is, we have always stayed with our parents, haven’t been apart, didn’t have a choice to leave and even now well into our mid to late 20s, this change has been giving all of us a bit of (by a bit of, I mean a lot of) separation anxiety, especially because two family members are leaving the nest over a span of 2 months.
To be honest, I don’t think it’s quite hit all of us yet, being so preoccupied with wedding preparations and shopping etc. We haven’t fully thought about what life will be like when two people leave, but I know my parents get very emotional some days and I have to be strong and comfort them. It’s sad that this chapter is closing, but a new one is opening, this time with changes and new additions to the family. Our holiday’s will be bigger, we’ll eventually have other new additions (babies) to the family, we will have our own new traditions, and we’ll be a growing family. Sure, it won’t be the same, but at one point I won’t be able to imagine my siblings coming over without their other half.
All Grown Up
Growing up, my parents would say a closed fist is stronger than an open hand, meaning family is strong when they’re close, and so growing up together, we were to stay strong together and not let anything get in the way of our relationship that would cause the fist to open and separate the fingers even after our parents are no longer in this world. I believe that will stay true forever, having new additions to the family, we only plan to get stronger. We are saying goodbye to old ends and hello to new beginnings. I am excited for what the future holds for all of us and all the new chapters to come. Sure it’s scary, but I don’t think anyone has done anything brave without facing their fears.
I love you two
I am sure many of you have had your own experiences with new beginnings and chapters, comment down below!