I have been blessed with the best sister and brothers (Sorry to the rest of you.) After a conversation with my mom this weekend, I thought a lot last night about why and how I love these four crazy cats. Here's a few of my thoughts on each of them.
Erin - We're thirteen months apart and I can't imagine a better friend in the whole world. Erin's "my person." I tell her everything, usually more than once, since we talk at LEAST two times a day. When we were in middle school we used to argue about who's friends were who. Now she introduces me to some wonderful people. In high school we got into it a few times over clothes and borrowing (I was a more frequent and willing borrow-er than she). These days I find Erin more generous and giving than I probably will ever be. Erin is hard working and long-suffering. She is crafty, stylish, a great aunt to my kids, a super mom to her kids, and FUNNY. Best of all, she is patient and gives me some much-needed perspective.
Nate - I love that Nate is a visual person, like me. He's like another oldest child since he started the boy run in our fam. He makes me laugh because I can relate to a lot of the emotions and opinions he has about things, but he's the boy version. Nathan is confident and unassuming. He loves his wife and daughter and is always trying to be better. I always know when Nate is pissed because he doesn't fake how he feels about things or people. He's also very loyal and organized. I enjoy that. He really was at the mercy of Erin and I growing up and I feel bad I was as self-absorbed as I was in high school because I rarely hung out with him, especially because I REALLY like hanging out now.
David - As my great Aunt Shirley would tell you, David is her heart. He's a lover, not a fighter - however we have learned as a grown-up he doesn't shy from a bar brawl, wrestling match, or round of boxing if it presents itself. Dave has always been sweet natured and loving of all. David is witty, easy to be around, charming, funny, rowdy, a good hugger, an athlete, and still a kid-at-heart. If my mom assigns eating arrangements for a family meal, David usually volunteers for the kid table. He's a great uncle - which I love that my kids love to be with him. He's taught them all sorts of values (ie burping, farting, teasing, etc.) that their uptight mom wouldn't be able to share with them. Dave is easy-going, but loves to read and discuss the intricacies of politics or social issues he reads about in some news magazine.
Michael - Mike and I are forever bonded together since he tried to be born on my birthday in 1988. Yeah, Furr's Cafeteria for a classy birthday dinner and Mike burst thru my mom's water! Nice. Although Mike's the baby of the family, he is a HERO! Really, he has been left with a lot more of my parents' attention than any of us got, which means he's been under the microscope a lot more than I had to me. He is family-centered and will hang out with his old hag of a sister. Michael is also long-suffering (as we've all teased him unceasingly.) Michael is smart (actually, all my siblings are smarter than I am!) and he's driven and goal oriented. He is sweet to others, doesn't get involved in drama, and is finding all sorts of new talents the more he grows up. AND, he'll babysit for me when he doesn't really want to. That's huge. What goes around DOES come around, though, and one day I can return the favor.
As a kid I remember being glad that my dad was such good friends with his sisters. It is a priority to me, a blessing in my life, to be friends with my siblings. There's nothing I wouldn't do for them and I know I can count on them too. What furthers the blessing are the other people they have brought into our family. In-laws, nieces, and nephews have made Erin, Nate, Dave, and Mike even better!