Two of my favorite humans share a birthday today. How cool is that?
My littlest brother, not so little anymore. The day I met you, you were a small, slightly red, wrinkly thing with big black eyes that peered up at me. I was six years old and thrilled. Sure, you weren’t a girl, but I’d gotten over that when Mom decided to let me name you. I remember running to her bedroom at about 5am one morning and shouting, “I have a name! He should be an Ezra!” They sent me back to bed, but the name stuck. From then on, you were MY baby. I insisted that you sleep in my room. You were a screamer, but you were my little buddy. As you got bigger, you started following the rest of us around. There was no babying you! You were determined to be one of the big kids and insisted that you could do anything we could do. I remember one time you followed us into the woods for a full kilometer in your rubber boots and overalls, promising that you wouldn’t get scared and want Mom. You were four. When you were five (or maybe even younger), I taught you to ride a bike by shoving you down the dirt hill a bazillion times until you finally made it to the bottom without crash landing. And THEN we showed Mom. Dude, it’s amazing you survived being my littlest brother.
You spent most of your childhood carrying a backpack, riding a bicycle around Europe, hanging out with backpackers in hostels, and jumping fearlessly into adventures twice your size. Now you’re 15 and starting to take on trips of your own. I’m insanely proud of you. It’s a little bittersweet to see my tiny baby brother grow up, but it also rocks. It’s been incredible to see you grow into the funny, kind, confident, hardworking young man you are today. You are so loved and man, you’re going places. I can’t wait to see where your feet take you next!
The love of my life. When I first met YOU, I was a dorky kiddo with braids and a fighting spirit; you were a small gentleman artist with a wild imagination. Now I’m a dorky woman with blue hair and a fighting spirit and you’re a tall gentleman artist with a wild imagination. We met at age 11 and 12, now we’re 20 and almost 21. Some things have changed drastically, some things haven’t changed at all.
The first memories I have of you include inventing a spy game with your sisters so that I could follow you around without you thinking I thought you were cool, whopping you hard with a stick because I couldn’t think of another way to start talking to you (remember, me: the dorky girl), and then spending hours drawing with you and building stories with you. Then the years of emailing back and forth about stories and travels and ideas and plans. When I was fifteen, your family randomly showed up in New England to surprise me. Oh, the adventures that followed. We’ve wandered Europe, Guatemala, and North America together. There have been so many coffee shop dates, so many rainy day adventures, so many spontaneous days of wandering, so many nose kisses. You’re smart, funny, hot as hell, and you never give up on me (even when I’m insanely difficult). Now we’re on the verge of traveling to Europe for a year just to see what will happen to us. Being with you keeps getting better every year, no matter where we are or what we’re doing.
19 was a difficult year. I can’t promise that 20 won’t have its challenges also; in fact, I’m sure it will. But I can promise that I’ll continue to take you on spontaneous adventures, talk about story-lines with you, and love you the best that I can. Growing up with you has been incredible. You’re going to rock your 20s.
… Dude, I just realized that you and I spent all of our teen years together. How cool is that? Let’s try for the next decade too and see where it goes, what do you think? Love you muchly.