Do you know how clearly I remember the day you were born? Or your goofy little kid smile? The pictures you sent me in Kansas? Or the dragon shirts? Or your middle school football games?
This weekend, I watched you graduate and walk out into the world as an adult. Someone with purpose and preparation. A person ready to pursue your dreams.
I have spent your entire life being fiercely proud of you. Proud of your intelligence, your sense of humor, your compassion (even though you like to pretend you don't have any), your strength, your talent and your grace.
You are an amazing person. An amazing person who has thwarted expectations at every turn.
At your graduation, there was a speech about the "three kinds of people in this world." It was sweet and inspiring and in may ways, oh so true. I thought I would share with you my version.
There are three kinds of people in this world: those who can count and those who can't.
I say this, because as much as I understand and appreciate the sentiment behind that touching speech, I hope something else for you: that you will never strive to be any kind of person.
Because you are enough just the way you are. By following your heart, your conscience, your faith or the voices in your head, you have become more than I ever dreamed of hoping for that chubby faced little brother of mine.
You've never done what was expected or easy or enough. You have instead sought out the paths that lead where you want to go, regardless of where they lead in the meantime. And you have persevered.
Now, you are standing on a precipice. I don't know if it truly feels like it or not, but this is the moment. The moment when you let go of the rope, jump out of the plane, yell "Geronimo" and free fall. You'll have more moments like this, some even more scary, but this moment is where you and you alone are responsible for the outcome.
It's terrifying and exhilarating and amazing. And you are ready.
Don't follow. Don't try to be anything you aren't. Do what you think is right is best and never forget that no matter how high that plane, you always have a safety net.
Just be you. Always. Because you are amazing.
Your Big Sister
P.S. I love you.