It was quite a while before Nimby was road-worthy…that is, could even be driven. But in anticipation of that long-awaited day, Kayte made an important realization: she didn’t know how to drive a standard shift car. Further, neither of her parents’ cars had manual transmissions. What’s a girl to do? Stick it to her brother, of course!
And so, on his day off, her older brother, Kelly, drove over to pick Kayte up for her first lesson with a clutch…in a parking lot. Did I mention that it was August in Dallas? Did I mention that temperatures were over 100 degrees? Did I mention that his car didn’t have air conditioning? But Kayte actually got up early so she could get her lesson.
He was a patient teacher and I am told that they even ventured out on the side streets for her to practice. They returned giggling and she was more confident that perhaps, by the time her car was ready, she’d be able to manage. Kelly was proud to make a unique contribution and gain something to tease his sister about for years to come.
Continuing a sense of “family” as kids become teens is sometimes tricky. Besides avoiding public contact with parents, teens often want to avoid being seen with siblings. But older siblings are frequently the exception and, therefore, valued assets in the family. Not only was Kelly’s contribution good for him and his sister, but most importantly, it helped to knit the family together.
Experts say that kids need at least seven adults who are NOT their parents in order to feel connected and secure in their world. Who could be better than that “friend who lasts a lifetime”…a brother or sister? Parents sometimes feel that they have to do everything for their teen. Be sure not to overlook a brother or sister, even if he or she is grumbling. “We are family, after all!”