First things first, Happy Birthday. Twenty-one is an exciting one, and I know you will enjoy and celebrate responsibly. This is the first year I will not be home to hug you and wish you a wonderful day because of school, and that breaks my heart a little but I'll be home tomorrow. Save me a piece of ice cream cake with plenty of chocolate "crunchies". I hope you're excited to go to casinos and sports bars but don't enjoy it too much until I catch up to you. You can't rent a car yet (four years to go) so I don't imagine you'll be traveling too far. For your gift this year (besides a shiny new FSU sweatshirt), I decided to write this to you. The following applies not just to your twenty-first, or your birthday in general, but every day since I took away your only-childhood. I hope you enjoy :)
I should probably start with I love you! Don't get too embarrassed, unless your friends like/share this. When I'm away at school, and get homesick, lonely, and stressed out- you are the person I wish I could teleport home to. When I am hungry, you are the person I want to get food with. When I'm sad, you are the person who can put a genuine smile on my face no matter what. When I am in the middle of an anxiety attack, you are the person who can assure me with such ease that everything really is okay. You can bring me back down to Earth with one dry and simple joke that puts reality in an honest perspective. When I don't feel good, you are the person I want to bring me saltines and ginger ale. When I am bored, you are the person I want to hang out with. When a new funny movie comes out, you are the person I want to see it with. When I see a really good pasta recipe on Facebook, yours is the profile I share it to. When I am excited, you are the person I want to share the reason and happiness with. You are everything I admire, am proud of, and wish to be in a person. In every single stage of my life, I knew it would be bearable and possible because you have dipped your toes in and tested the water before me. And I can never thank you enough for that and everything else you do for me. You buy me food, bring me coffee, drive me around, and most importantly make me happy. I will always be eager to introduce you to new friends and show you off to old ones. And good luck to any guy that ever tries to mess with me. I DARE any boy to try to make a fool of me once they've shaken your hand. And when I am eventually ready to get married, as far away as that is, I know I won't be saying yes I until I have your seal of approval. For a strange and maybe even selfish reason, hearing you say "don't be mean to my sister" on the playground feels like earning a medal. That's right, I'm HIS sister. For whatever reason, I stand a little taller. I'm positive that I have been embarrassing during middle and high school, and I have without a doubt been a tattle tale. I've stolen the remote and rolled my eyes at you- but hey, that's my job.
I cannot wait to continue to share snacks with you, steal your comfy clothes when I'm cold (who says brother-sister relationships don't involve hand-me-downs), and do my best to make you proud of me. You will always be my best and favorite friend.
So have the best birthday brother, you deserve nothing less! Soon enough I'll be able to gift you that lake house... and whether you like it or not, I'll be right down the hall.
your little sister.