For over 20 years your life has pretty much revolved around taking care of me and my siblings. It's safe to say that it's going to be a major adjustment now that we are all 18 and the last two of us have left home for college. You have been selfless, always putting our needs before your own and I know you worry about home not being the same without us there making dumb jokes, arguing, failing to do the dishes, or leaving a load of laundry in the dryer until it's all wrinkled. These are all signs that we still need you. We will continue to need your guidance, advice, support, words of encouragement, and love.
Yes, a lot of times we will try to convince ourselves and you that we are independent, but every now and then we will be harshly reminded of how very dependent we still are. However, this is your time to care for yourself more than ever. You deserve to find those old hobbies you gave up when you were caring for seven kids or new hobbies you haven't given a try yet. Just as you hope for us to experience new things and find new passions, that is what I wish for you and know that I will want you to call me to tell me about your new experiences just as I will call you to share with you about my own. That is how I think it should be.
Thank you for years of continuous support through so many things different things I pursued. Also, thank you for being clear about not supporting certain things I pursued. For example, in 2007 when I considered becoming a Colts fan instead of a Bears fan during the Superbowl because a boy I liked was a Colts fan. I'm not sure what I was thinking in middle school, but I'm glad you were there to keep my head on straight. You have given me the confidence to go outside my comfort zone knowing you will always have my back even when something doesn't turn out the way I planned.