By the time I click “post” you will officially be eighteen yeas old.
I can’t believe it. I don’t remember the day Mom and Dad brought you home, but I do remember standing in their bedroom and staring at you as you lay in your little incubator.
I remember putting my backpack on you and you standing there in your little purple onesie.
I remember throwing a marker at your eye. Sorry about that, by the way.
I remember chopping your finger off with the sliding glass door. It was an accident… oops.
I remember how whenever we fought you would always win because you were the baby of the family.
I remember when you went to your first school dance and I was floored at how pretty you were.
I remember yelling at you and being yelled at, and later saying I was sorry and that I love you.
And really, I do. I love you a lot. Eighteen years of being annoyed and frustrated and arguing… and I love you even more today than before because even though I’m not home to be with you, I know that we’re friends.
And sisters are cool and all… but when sisters are friends, too, things are just kind of right.
I’m so proud of you. I can’t believe you’re officially an adult now. You can vote, and buy cigarettes, and get a tattoo, and go to adult prison. I recommend voting and getting a tattoo before trying the other two, but that’s up to you.
Because you’re eighteen and legal and free.
You kind of amaze me, you know. You’ve got these two incredibly awesome older sisters who are so hard to match in quality of awesome, and yet you still give us a run for our money.
You’re so smart. You’re talented and caring and you’re a giver. You work hard, you help others, you respect people. You are quick-witted and clever and make me think that maybe I’m not the funniest in the family anymore. You’ve grown into this semi-responsible, quasi-adult and I just… wow.
I never thought I would feel so old, but here I am, looking at your Facebook picture and wondering how we all got so old.
I hope your day is great. You have a whole Saturday of birthday to spend how you want. I hope you drive around town with the windows down and music blaring. I hope you sing at the top of your lungs and shout at the sun. I hope you can’t stop smiling, can’t stop laughing, can’t stop being happy. I hope you look people in the eye and stand proud and walk tall and feel older. I hope you close your eyes tight and blow out candles and dream big dreams for your life.
I hope you always work hard to get where you want to go. I hope you call out the lies that people tell you and that you sometimes tell yourself. I hope you embrace the hard times because it’s only in the difficult seasons that we find out who we truly are. I hope when the days are long and the nights longer that you can remember who you are and who your God says you are. I hope you cling to your family and your friends, not to the people who assume positions in your life. There’s no time for liars and fakers and people who drag you down.
I hope you don’t forget who you are. I hope you always keep loving, always keep fighting for what you believe, I hope you always work for what you want, I hope you always hear Dad say “tough” when you don’t want to do something you committed to. I hope you always remember Mom telling you how proud of you she is. I hope you always look back on family game nights with a thankful heart. I hope you always remember to never take people for granted.
I hope you have a good day. I hope it’s beautiful and bright and not too cold or too hot.
I hope it’s perfect.
This is your day, sweet sister. Your day to celebrate your life and your accomplishments and goals and desires and hopes for your life.
I love you. I miss you. I want nothing more right now than to hug you and kiss your face and tell you how proud and happy I am to be one of your big sisters. Juli and I? We’re lucky to have you.
You are such a beautiful person, in every way.
Happy Birthday, babysister.