Today is the last day of summer, and the first day of your fourth decade of life. If you've done, if you ever do, nothing else, you've changed my life forever, for the better, and I just wanted to say thank you for it.

Thank you for being my husband's big sister, for kicking his ass when he needs it, for listening when he needs it, for being the one thing in his life no one else ever will be. Thank you for being my babies auntie, for being silly with them and loving them as much as your own, for always being there for them whenever, wherever. Thank you for teaching 2of3 how to speak in complete sentences and let me tell you, Stop It Bitch has come in handy so many times since he was one. *wink* Thank you for teaching 1of3 to roll and jump and play. He forgets to do that sometimes, just like your brother, and you never let him forget to just be a boy. Thank you for taking my little girl's hand and heart and being as strong a force in her life as I am. Every girl needs a team of strong and different women behind her, and you bring her something I never will be able to, and I thank you for giving that to her so freely.

Thank you for this.


Oh my god, thank you so much for this. Thank you more for this than for anything else in the world. There aren't words at all, so I'm not going to look for them. You know.

Thank you for being my big sister. Thank you for taking me in and loving me just the way I am. Thank you for giving me someone to look up to, someone to learn from, someone to aspire to be like. Thank you double so for not making me go through the same initiation that your brother and sister had to in order to be your sibling. I don't think I could effectively dodge knives now. I'm getting older, too.

But more than anything, thank you for helping me not be so afraid. Thank you for being there on the steps with me the night before I signed a dotted line and became some man's wife, thank you for being on the other side of an airplane concourse and a bathroom door the day my entire world bottomed out on me. Thank you for never being more than one phone call, one car ride, one train trip or one airplane away. Thank you for showing me that anything is possible with enough dumb courage. And Valium. And most of all, thank you for helping me not be afraid of the future. I mean, if this is what forty looks like, sign me the fuck up, yo.

It Came From The Sea

I love you. You were the best thing to ever come from me walking down that aisle 11 years ago. Well, after the whole "eternal love" and "devoted family" and "beautiful children" bits, of course. Happy birthday, sissy.