Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Turn Back the Clock

Moderately big news around here...we're getting a special visitor this summer (probably). I got a call last week from Tinkerbelle's mother, warning me that Tinkerbelle was going to ask me if she could come and spend the summer. Her Mom wanted to give me a heads-up in case I wanted to say no and needed some time to prepare an answer other than "I really don't feel like having a grumpy teenager around"!

[In case you've forgotten in the year that I have been away;-), Tinkerbelle is my other little sister that I never knew about or met until she was about seven. She's not a petulant fifteen year old!]

My first instinct is to jump right in and tell her yes...because it would be awesome! I have always wanted to spend more time with her and have struggled to be as involved with her as I would like to be. Obviously, a full-immersion summer would be a great way to fix that...living with someone is a whole different experience than visiting. Plus, she'd get all kinds of time to be around the nieces that she doesn't see more than a couple of weeks a year.

There are a couple of sticking points. One of them, however, is not The Boy, who is entirely on board. He's used to having teenagers around, and he knows how much I feel like I have missed out with her. He may also see the value in having a pinch-babysitter when we need her:-)

It does sort of get to one of the issues, though...Tinkerbelle is NOT Munchkin. The Boy - along with Smoking Hot Roommate, Big Sis and Munchkin - have all made reference, at one point of another, to how much fun Munchkin's teenage years have been. She's lived at the beach, had a bunch of jobs, traveled a lot and lived under a somewhat flexible web of supervision.

I never had a problem with her being at the beach all summer for two reasons. First, she was always incredibly mature and responsible. Second, there was usually someone from her circle of authority figures there with here. I was there on weekends, Big Sis was maybe there for a couple days during one week, SHR the next week, The Boy sometimes, Papa Bear other times. She always had a lot of people fill various parts of the role of "parent" and there was generally at least one of them around.

Tinkerbelle is neither as responsible as Munchkin was (she is, in fact, a pretty normal teenager... Munchkin was the outlier), nor does she have the same relationships that Munchkin does. If she is here, I will be the authority figure and there won't really be any substitutes (except for maybe The Boy). Which is fine, I just have to keep that in mind as they all try to convince me that this will be the best summer ever!

So, I told her yes, because I really, really want to have her, but I gave her some conditions. First, she can't be at the beach all summer. I won't be able to take time off to be with her enough to make that workable. Munchkin will be there, which would help (Tinkerbelle absolutely idolizes her, and she is unquestionably mature enough to be the parent) but I don't know yet what her travel plans will be, other than to know that she will have some and they will be spectacular. And, that would sort of defeat the point...I want to be around her all summer, not just every weekend and a couple of full weeks.

That means she will need to be in Boston with something to keep her busy (read: a job), but that will leave her free on weekends because we are still going to be at the beach as much as we can. I'm thinking that a camp counselor job would be perfect...it would keep her busy, give her a little money and let her meet some friends. Even if she found some kind of a job in a store that was a couple of days a week, I'd be fine with her doing that and taking a class or volunteering or something to keep her engaged otherwise.

Mostly? I want to see that she can make a plan and make it happen. I know she wants to come out here, but I need her to be serious about her own plans and mine. If she can make the phone calls that she has to in order to line up her own schedule, then I am all for her coming out! But I am not going to do it for her, and her Mom isn't going to do it for her...coming here would mean more freedom and responsibility than she is used to, and I'd like to see that she understands that and is ready for it.

I think she will make it work...she really, really wants to. And, I think it will be good for her...she struggles with all of the regular stuff that kids that age struggle with around teenage social issues. She has had some (minor) issues with school and could use a couple of months to take in some new surroundings and make some new friends that she hasn't been in school with since she was five. Honestly, I think she and her Mom can use the break, too. Being a single mother of a teenager is tough, and they get at each other like any other parent and kid do...I think the time away will help them appreciate each other. I hope so, at least:-)

So, that's that...as long as she can find a job, she's coming for pretty much all of July and August! Wish me luck:-)


Robbie said...

I would give anything to have a sister, and you are so lucky to have 2. I have a selfish brother who only talks to me when it suits him, and dominates every situation when he's around. I hope it works out that you can spend some time with her! Both of you need that :)

Anonymous said...

Can I be your sister too please? 
I would love to come for two month to Boston. That sounds wonderful. I am sure she will make it work and you will have a good time.

Nilsa @ SoMi Speaks said...

You mean, all I have to do is work a couple days a week to live with you and go to the beach on the weekends? Count me in! =D Sounds like a pretty awesome offer. I hope your sister sees what an amazing gift she's got and figures it all out. I know how teenagers are, though, and know it's often harder than it seems.