There are three things in life of which I am intensely proud: my family, my school, and my country. It doesn’t take anyone anywhere in the world who meets me long to find out about the latter – I fly my Bajan flag high and proud. And among Bajans, whether home or abroad, at some point you will hear the Kolij talk, ’cause I big up Harrison College whether I’m near or far (and please let it be known, we spell it K-O-L-I-J not because we don’t know how to spell – we do. It’s just that the ordinary way of doing things is so tired and mundane).
This blurb, though, is about my family, in particular, the younger of my two sisters, Saran Lashley. I love this child to
death. At 15 years old, she is absolutely amazing. A bundle of energy, a real livewire. She’s aspiring to have a career on stage, and anybody who has met her will agree it’s definitely a suitable place for her. Lord knows my mother has her hands full trying to contain Saran’s melodrama, God bless her.
Now don’t mistake my enthusiastic pride for being cocky, though I make no apologies for it if that is still how you choose to perceive it. Everybody ought to love the things that are theirs – I love mine passionately, you go ahead and love yours. That being said, ever since Rochelle (my other sister), Saran and I did the 1-2-3 punch and all ended up at Harrison College, the stage has been set. We ready to blaze up Barbados, the Caribbean and the world. We gine down in de anals as de Lashley Legend. We smart. We good-looking. We is set de pace, not follow it. So while I was ecstatic, I was not surprised to hear over the weekend that my Sari-boo won a speech competition hosted by the Optimist Club of Barbados. Saran, now the National champion, will be heading on to Jamaica next month to represent the country!!!!!. I feel so good!!!! Wooo hooo!!!! She will be featured in the weekend edition of the local newspapers, but you saw it first on Allegiance ;-).
At the same time, there’s a little pang in my heart. I’m joining in the celebration as much as the distance allows, but I feel like Saran has grown up without me. I’ve only been gone from home 4 years, but going from 11 to 15 years old is a huge leap. I totally missed the growth spurt, the boobs, the boys – the entire cross-over from little girl to teenager. Last time I was home (almost 2 years now), I could hardly believe my eyes. This girl has grown up!!!! It is ridiculous. And her big sister wasn’t there for it. I remember when she was born. I remember rocking her to sleep at night when mummy was still at class. I remember her first days at nursery school. I remember when she started violin. And now instead of having the memories for my own, I have to hear about it. C’est la vie, I suppose. But I make sure she knows her big sister loves her. And is fiercely proud of her. And now, you know it too.