Today I try out an "Around" writing about my sister Katie. It's a style that I was introduced to at the Ohio Writing Project's 4-week Writing class. It was always one of our most favorite ways to write.
Around 1986, a blue-eyed beauty, Kathryn Norine, rounded out the Wolford girls.
She was calm and clear-eyed. She loved her sisters and her parents, and smiled all the time. Because her sisters were 10 and 7 years older than her, she got lots of snuggles and hugs. She was a real life Cabbage Patch doll.
Around 1990, Katie carried her Teddy everywhere and loved playing Barbies.
Katie has keeps us all young. She brings light and life into every room. My friends loved to come to our house and play with her because it allowed all of us to recapture a little slice of our childhood, which was still visible in our rearview mirrors. Even when she was six, she could play with anyone -- the neighbor kids, her sisters, her cousins. She has always been the great unifier.
Around 1994, Katie sat the top of the stairs, through she was supposed to be in bed, listening to all the fun she thought she was missing.
As the youngest, Katie always felt like she was missing out on the action. She usually was. Though she also got to experience things with our parents that we didn't. She went to play with mom, watched baseball with dad. She knew too much too soon; how could you not when you have two teenage sisters? She was the first in her friend group to find out lots of secrets and would often educate her girlfriends. Katie heard the refrain, "Do NOT repeat this at school" pretty often.
Around 2007 Katie became an Aunt Katie.
This was a role Katie was born for. She's a tree climber, a book reader, a song singer, an Uno player. She loves her niece and nephews and shows them how to be good people. She has sleepovers in the basement, plays games when everyone else is sick of it, and makes them follow the rules.
Around 2009 Katie wandered off the path.
These things happen. And they're often the events that make us stronger and that has been true for Katie. That's her story to tell, not mine, but I have watched her with worry, with trepidation, with frustration and now with pride as she has found her map and righted her course in the last few years.
Around 2017, Katie will cross a stage, take her diploma and enter into a legacy of teachers. She will be amazing.
Katie was a born teacher. Kids are drawn to her. She looks them in the eye, holds them to high standards, and really listens to them. Her future classroom will be a place of light and love and learning.
My sister Katie is one of the most beautiful people I know. She lights up a room and makes everyone feel happier for being around her. She's funny and kind. She completes our family and makes us all better people. And she's so much fun to be around.