I can't believe you're 21 today. I don't mean that in a "time is flying you grew up so fast" kind of way - well, maybe I do - but more because I can so vividly remember that day you were born.
Mom and Dad had kept the gender of the baby a surprise, but when I saw the pink bubble gum cigar in the pocket of my coat I can still feel the tingles of excitement knowing I had a sister.
Sisters are a funny thing - they can drive you up a wall, but can also be the only one that gets you. We've survived episodes of Barney (oh how I loathed that purple dinosaur - his songs haunt me still), to sharing a room, and arguments about nothing. (She started it!)
(Yes I have to stand on a chair to be taller than my "baby" sister)
I've been there for all of your firsts - your first steps, your first smile, your first soccer games, and your first heart break.
I built towers of blocks and then laughed at your delight as you ran through them, squealing, "again, again!" I taught you games and together we made new ones. We've shared countless hours of coloring, reading, singing, and playing. Through it all I've always had this unquestionable fierce love for you.
I'm excited to be here to see you turn 21 - and as your older sister I will take pictures of what's sure to be a fun night (hello blackmail), but I'll also make sure you take medicine and drink water before you go to bed. After all, we're sisters by blood, but friends by choice.
It's been incredible to watch you grow and change, and as much as you might think you are, you're not done yet. I love the woman you've turned into - you're beautiful and strong, and passionate and funny.
I can't wait to see what you do next.
Happy birthday stinker. I love you.