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“Tagalong,” New Era, June 2003, 40


My little sister always tagged along. This time I was glad she did.

“Please. Please. Please.”

“No. And stop following me around.”

“But I want to come with you,” she continued to beg in her six-year-old voice.

“Knock it off, Linzie. Just once I’d like to go somewhere without you coming with me.” I could feel the anger in my voice rising. I was so tired of her being my tagalong. Everywhere I went she had to come too or else she would throw the biggest tantrum. She knew that even the slightest whimper would get her anything she wanted. This time was no exception.

“Where are you going, Bree?” my mom called from the kitchen, where she was making dinner.

“I have to go to the store to get some paper for school. I’ll be gone only 10 minutes.”

“Well then you can take Linzie with you.”

“Yea! Yea! Yea!” The tears immediately ceased when Linzie realized her victory.

“Mom, she’s such a pain. Why do I always have to take her with me?”

“Because she’s your sister, that’s why.” I should have expected that one.

“Fine. Whatever. Hurry up, and get your shoes on, Linzie.” I knew I was acting like a brat, but I had hours of homework to do.

“Okay, let’s go,” Linzie said angelically.

During the drive to the store, I turned up the radio so I wouldn’t have to talk to my sister. We both stared straight forward. The store was busy, and the lines were long. All I could think about was all the homework that awaited me, and how I was going to be up past midnight finishing it. The ride home started off as solemn as the ride to the store. I was determined to let Linzie know how annoyed I was.

“Bree, Bree,” she said timidly.

“What, Linzie?” I didn’t bother turning down the radio.

“You know why I always want to go with you everywhere?”

Her sincerity caught my attention. “No, why?”

She sat quiet for a moment before responding. “Because—because I’m gonna miss you a lot because you’re going to college soon.”

I looked at her. She was staring at me with her beautiful blue eyes. I really didn’t know what to say. “I’ll miss you too. A lot. I’ll still get to come home sometimes, though.”

“Will we be able to do stuff when you come home?”

“Of course, silly girl.”

“Good,” she said as we rounded the corner onto our street.

That was all that was said, but that day I learned a huge lesson about the importance of developing a lasting relationship with my sisters and brother—even when they’re young. It reminded me of the scripture in Mosiah 3:19: “Becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him.”

I don’t think Linzie knew the huge impact her innocent comment had on me. Now I try to be more tolerant of the things that my younger siblings do, because when I’m gone, I will miss them.

Illustrated by Sam Lawlor