I'm not one of those people who are still trying to figure out what their purpose is in this world. I'm supposed to protect the most pure, innocent, funny, charismatic, good-natured soul I know: my little brother.

Dear little brother -- today, Mom and Dad brought you home. You're not the little sister I had dreamed of having, but I fell in love with you when we fell asleep together on the couch. I made sure to tell everyone that you are fragile. Stay this way forever.

Dear little brother -- today, I put you in one of my dresses and paraded you around the house. You are so going to kill me for this in 10 years, but for now, you're too small and unashamed to understand or defend yourself. (Mwahahaha.)

Dear little brother -- today, we got in a huge argument. Mom sent us to a room together and told us, "You can come out after you apologize to each other." We whispered for a few minutes and came up with the expert plan to just say that we apologized and trick Mom into thinking we had earned the privilege to come out of the room. We "pretended" to get back on good terms with one another and went on with our day.

Dear little brother -- today, we performed in our elementary school's talent show together. I sang and you danced around like the crazy kid you are. We hugged and and took deep breaths backstage before going on. We were both nervous, but we had each other.

Dear little brother -- today, I saw the kid who has been bullying you lately. When you weren't around, I glared at him until we made eye contact...then I bumped his shoulder as I walked past him. As a "big, tough middle schooler," I feel pretty proud of myself. No one messes with my little brother.

Dear little brother -- today, I rode shotgun while you drove the pick up truck around our aunt's ranch for the first time. Thank goodness you didn't drive the same way as you do on the Xbox.

Dear little brother -- today, we made some pretty strange iMovies together. Let's hope the footage doesn't make it outside the family, though it was sure worth all the giggling.

Dear little brother -- today, we went to town on the piano when Mom and Dad left the house. Thanks for being a great jam session partner.

Dear little brother -- today, you called me short. I looked up, only to see that you had, indeed, seemingly over-night, surpassed me in height. Perhaps I'll need to control my sass now that you have the ability to overpower me physically. Oh, how the tables have turned, but you'll always be little to me.

Dear little brother -- today, you asked out a girl for the first time. I'm not thrilled. I'll be nice, but I'll also put the fear of God into her if necessary. Stop growing up.

Dear little brother -- quit stealing my food.

Dear little brother -- today was a bad day. You made sure to give me a hug in gym class, no questions asked. Nobody else knew I needed one. Then you whispered, "It made sense that he had a flat butt. After all, he was a Patriots fan." You savage you. Where do you come up with this stuff? You gave me a reason to smile that day. (Thanks for the quote, by the way.)

Dear little brother -- in a few weeks, I'm leaving for college. It will be weird to not be singing with you on the car ride back from school. It will be weird not watching New Girl with you in the mornings because it's the only thing that gets you up before 10 a.m. It will be weird to not be around to intimidate future girlfriends. Little brother, it will be weird to miss you, but I promise we will have enough adventures in the future for an abundance of new memoirs.

Dear little brother -- thanks for being a good friend.

Your big sister (Birdy, nee-nee, Wern-dee and many more).