It's been a while since I've written you a letter....maybe many years...maybe since I was a teenager!
But, here I am, on day 3 of my pledge to write 365 letters in 365 days, and you're at the top of my list of people that I love!
It's been so nice spending time with you guys the past few times we've been up to Queensbury. Sometimes, I feel like our trips are so whirlwind, we don't get to see everyone and do everything we want to do. But it's important to me that we make time for the very coolest, the most very special-est of all the Queensburians. Or, as you and Kristi have become now - South Glens Fallsians. (I imagine that has a nice sh- sound. South Glens Falsheeeahnns.)
I want to tell you something. You have always been like...the coolest kid.
You have always been kind. You've always been the sweetest gift giver at Christmas, even when Mom was giving us $15 dollars at the dollar store to pick out something for every member of our family...and Grandma. And Aunt Eileen and Aunt Gail. And maybe sometimes, even Carol. You used to get the cutest gifts for everyone. And I remember one year, you remembered me being disappointed that I didn't get a Puppy Surprise the YEAR BEFORE...so you got me a dog figurine. You used to bring me cups of Gatorade when I was sick. And crackers. You were my personal waiter the winter I got the stomach flu for three weeks and mom thought I was going to sink into the couch. You're a lover of animals (Anah, Monty, Carl, Bella, Daisy, Delilah, Suzy!) and people alike - kind to everyone you meet. You are quiet and gentle. You have the best laugh - you laugh with your full heart. People see that, and it makes them love you back. You can also make us laugh. You seek to bring people nothing but joy, and go out of your way to make sure they get just that.
You have always been smart. I remember you doing crazy science experiments in the kitchen with mom and figuring out how to take apart alarm clocks - pretty much even before you had all of your teeth. I remember the time you were playing in the living room in Bristol, and the next thing they knew, you were out in the driveway wanting to "play basketball." Because you could somehow figure your way out of a playpen, a screen door and a real door, and down 4 steps...when you were about 14 months old.
That's why I knew you'd fit right in at Tribune so many years ago when you followed in my footsteps. You were almost 5 years younger than me, and almost immediately, you rose in the ranks and basically took over the International Department! And now, here you are, speed rocketing your way through a degree that you're paying for, on your time, all while working full time. I am in awe at how smart you are. And how driven.
But you're not just driven because you're smart and successful. You're driven because you can see the future. When you met Kristi almost 9 years ago, you found a new reason to be kind, to be gentle, to be funny, to be creative, to be smart and successful. You found love. And it has only brought out the best in you.
To see you and Kristi interacting...anytime - at a restaurant, at Mom and Dad's, outside playing volleyball, and now even cleaning up the kitchen or taking care of the dog in your own house - it's clear that you two are made for one another.
You smile at each other, you laugh, you take care of one another, you speak kindly, you support each other's opinions, you take the other into account when making decisions, you finish each other's sentences and you catch her eye whenever Dad says something too stinking ridiculous for any of us even to say anything. She's your other half, your second heart, your partner in crime, your first big love and your forever love.
I couldn't be happier for you two, and I treasure the months (how brief they were) that we got to live with each other as adults, because I really got to know you and I got to know Kristi in a way that I wouldn't have if we were to only have had weekends together here or there. I got to know you both as friends, not just siblings, and I'm so happy.
I couldn't be prouder of you or love you any more, but something tells me, in the years to come, I will get the chance to love you and be more proud of you that I can imagine now. Here's to the next 26 1/2 years together :-)