Sixteen Years

Here’s to 16 years. Here’s to 5844 days, eleven hours, and forty-two minutes. That’s how long you’ve been here. Here’s to one house, two cats, and 11 years of school.

Here’s to being both a man and a boy simultaneously.

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Here’s to 5844 days, eleven hours, and forty-two minutes of siblinghood. Here’s to watching you blow out the candles sixteen times. Here’s to laughs and to bedtime stories, to doors slammed and fists clenched. Here’s to stealing sharing each others’ stuff.

Here’s to being the Big Sister. To diaper changes and your first clumsy steps from Mom’s arms to the yellow rocking chair in the family room. Here’s to the time you almost threw up in my bed. Here’s to “Kiki” and “Carwy,” which evolved into “Carly.” And to the big responsibility that came with knowing the truth about Santa long before you did.

Here’s to letting you win and to pushing you down; to swearing you to secrecy lest I tell our parents about the one time you did that one thing. And to holding your hand in the dark.

Here’s to 16 years of taking the burnt grilled cheese.

Washing your dishes.

Taking lukewarm showers after your hourlong baths.

Here’s to lengthy phone conversations and forgetting to text each other back. To laughing at your jokes (because they’re funny) and to laughing at my own (to compensate for your silence).

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Here’s to the time you called yourself a feminist, said you wanted to go to a Pride parade, and sat through the entirety of my 10-minute drag show snap story. Here’s to long hikes in the woods and that one time we went running (slash walking) together. Here’s to making a mess of the kitchen, convincing me to play Xbox because I can be Megan Rapinoe in FIFA World Cup, and sending me links to funny YouTube videos when I need them most.

Here’s to 16 years. I wouldn’t trade them for the world, Bub.

xoxo,
Carly

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