dear sister ...

You are all grown up now. This year marks the last year of your childhood for next year, you officially become a teen. I look at you and I marvel at how fast you are becoming a lady.

The coming years will not be all roses and candies ... there will be moments of sadness, pain, hurt, and anger.  It is part of life. However, I want you to know that I will be there, holding your hand or banging your head against the wall, whatever is needed to ensure that you get up from whatever it is that pained you. I'll hold your hand and guide you when you stand up immediately from falling down. I will bang your head against the wall (metaphorically) if you decide to wallow in it.

Life is about falling down and standing up again. It is about learning, losing, loving, and winning. It is about cherishing the moments. Document everything. You will want to look at it years from now. You will want to have mementos of events past/

You will soon have crushes. Enjoy it. Giggle. Feel good ... but please, do not fall in love yet. We are not ready to see you cry over a boy. I might just hurt that boy physically. As for your twin older brothers, I will not stop them from maiming him.

You will make more friends and lose some. It is part of growing up. Treasure the ones you have now. Don't let go of old ones who also do not want to let go of you. Do not close doors on new ones being made.

Most important of all, never forget your family. We will have fights and skirmishes. We will not understand each other but do not ever forget ... WE LOVE YOU. We will always be here for you, the same way you were there for me when my heart was broken and you held me in your arms while I cried for someone who did not deserve my tears. I will be there for you as well. We all will be.

So go, take flight knowing that if you should fall, we will catch you with arms wide open holding a big mattress so you can bounce back and soar once more.

I love you Shobe. Never forget that.

Happy 12th birthday! MWAH!

Your big sister,
Ate Kenny

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