With a Capital EM: Life Lessons for Lainie


Emily Caswell with her sisters Tricia and Elaine Smith.

Armed with a $20 bill and a reluctant smile on her face, my youngest sister Lainie marched toward the cabana area. My other sister Tricia and I watched closely as we attempted to teach Lainie a valuable life lesson — bargaining. The cost to rent two chairs and an umbrella was $25, I only had a $20. We figured our girls’ trip to Tybee Island, Ga., was as good a time as any to loop Lainie into something we have been skilled at for years. While my sister Tricia and I seem to have been born with an inherent ability to talk to just about anyone, our baby sister Lainie is shy. It’s not hard to understand why. She’s a product of two, older, bossy sisters who — in our attempt to control everything — gave Lainie what she needed, when she needed it without her even having to ask. Now that Lainie is about to head off to college, we realized she better possess some of these skills herself. Turns out Lainie needed backup when it came to the cabana chairs — the young kid working the area had to consult with a supervisor and so Lainie did the same (her supervisor being Tricia). In the end, we got the chairs and the umbrella for $20 and were able to spend the day talking, laughing, swimming, drinking a few cold ones (not Lainie, of course, she is not of age) all while avoiding a sunburn and in the comfort of reclining chairs. A friend recently told me she always envied the relationship I have with my sisters. That friend only has a brother, so two sisters seems like a luxury to her. The thing is, her saying that pointed out something I already knew, but never think about. Having sisters is pretty cool. (We love our brother too, by the way.) If nothing else these girls’ trips we take are totally worth whatever annoyance they have ever caused me. We’ve done a few — along with our mom — and they are pretty awesome. This last one to Tybee Island and Savannah was so much fun. Between the beach, delicious food and laughs, it was four days filled with memories I will cherish forever. I think what I love the most is thinking about Lainie’s memories from the trip. Whether she believes it or not, one day she won’t even think twice about asking for a discount. And when she does I hope she smiles thinking of her older, bossy sisters pushing her out of her comfort zone on a warm beach in Georgia.

Tags: Columns, emily caswell, sisters, with a capital em


Emily Caswell

Emily Caswell is the Managing Editor of CAWLM. She has a passion for fun, family, friends, shopping sprees, cold drinks and Lansing.

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