I recently found this letter folded up amongst my papers and files from childhood. I wrote it in 1987. I was in second grade. She was only months old.
Last week was what we dubbed “Maurer Mania.” To be honest, any family gathering these days is called such as they always resemble a jam-pack whirlwind of insanity, festivities, milestones, and celebration. I guess that’s what you get when you live so far away from one another–when you do finally end up in the same town together you have to fill it with all the important “stuff.”
And this time, the “stuff,” was all about her, my baby sister Kaycie.
Our first morning together included a visit to the Mount Timpanogos LDS Temple, where she attended for the first time. In our faith, you generally go to the temple for the first time before you either enter into missionary service or marriage. (There are certainly other instances when it’s appropriate to begin attending the temple, but in general, that’s the case. And once you attend for the first time, you are encouraged to return often for worship and instruction.)
It was such a special day for all of us since Kaycie is the last of our immediate family to begin attending the temple. My parents went for the first time in 1980, a year after they had converted to Mormonism. I went in 2000 when I was preparing to serve a mission. My sister Karly then joined us in 2005 when she too went on a mission.
As we gathered together at the end of our session, I looked around at all of us (sans Karly’s husband since he was in the foyer taking care of their new baby)–Mom, dad, me, Kar, Kayc, Kaycie’s fiance Alex, Alex’s family, Kaycie’s friends–sharing the moment, supporting and loving our “baby” as she took that next step in her life’s path. It was a pinnacle moment.
When it was time to leave, I watched Kaycie as she hugged and thanked everyone for being there with her, and I couldn’t help but marvel at the woman she has become. Gosh dangit. She’s so grown up.
Still the baby.
Always the baby.
But so. grown. up.