Where do I even begin? It’s funny because whenever people ask me this, I always facetiously reply with “At the beginning.”
But that’s the thing, I don’t remember the beginning.
I don’t remember March 1st, 1998. I can’t say what was happening when you came, I can’t tell you my reaction to you being brought home from the hospital. I can’t say that I despised not being the youngest anymore. I can’t even say that I changed your diapers or fed you or anything. The first memory I have of us might be you learning to tie your shoes. It might be when you tried to tag along for EVERYTHING that I did. It could be when I tried to talk for you when you wouldn’t for the first couple years of your life. It isn’t the story about how I tried to cut your hair with safety scissors because I was trying to be a good big sister, but it’s one of my favorite stories.
God, how we’ve grown. We’ve been playing age tag for forever. But you’ve finally caught up to my adulthood. Maybe just for a couple of months, but still. I’ve been trying to protect you since day one. Making sure that you were comfortable in every way I could bear without making myself crazy. Making sure the world knew that there was hell to pay if you ever came back to me with even the slightest hair out of place. Look how you’ve grown. From trying to be as athletic as I am in the backyard to me attempting to catch up with you in the fashion aspect of the world. If there was ever a time to recognize how much you mean to me, it’s now. You are the most annoying person I’ve had the pleasure of having in my life and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
For the past 18 years, I’ve done my best to guide you through advice and example and now it’s time to put all of that to use. Little brother, on your birthday, I want to say thank you. Thank you for being annoying and ridiculous and outrageous and unbearable. Some people grow up their whole lives wondering what it’s like to have siblings. Because of you, on this day 18 years ago, I’m not one of those people. You have let me guide you, nurture you, fight with and for you and comfort you. Because of you on this day 18 years ago, I know that I will always have at least one friend in this world.
I’m sorry I can’t be home on this very special day, but I hope you know that I love you and you find comfort in my words. If I know you like I do, you’ve had an amazing day and didn’t even need me there to do it. In case you haven’t heard it enough today, I wish you a fantastic 18th and many more to come.
** Happy Birthday, Vante **