It feels that I spend a good portion of my day as a referee, even though I try to let you work out your own problems as much as possible. However I’ve lost count of who’s bitten whom how many times, and what bruise is from whom.
Some people say it’s normal, this hurting and poking and teasing and torturing one another. Others claim their children were never like that.
I wonder if it’s the closeness in age? Or perhaps the sheer number of you? Or maybe it’s these stubborn, passionate personalities you all seem to have inherited.
What I do know is that you love each other. I’m sure the next 14 years of you all in our house will have plenty of bumps, but I hope, more than anything, that you will always remember that us, this family, we are best friends. And that they will always be the ones to protect your back.
I hope he’s the one who steps in front of someone calling you a name.
I hope she’s the one you borrow shoes from for that concert.
I hope he’s the one who comforts you when you get hurt.
I hope she’s the one you call when you need a ride home.
I hope that she’s the one you call when you’ve met someone that touched your heart.
I hope he’s the one you call in tears when someone broke your heart.
I hope she’s the one you skype with to pick out an outfit for that long-awaited job interview.
I hope he’s the one that you tackle in the middle of a thanksgiving holiday football game.
I hope she’s the one who tells it to you straight when you can’t face your own mistake.
I hope he’s the one that you call when you’ve done all you can and the electronic just won’t work properly.
I hope she’s the one you call when you need another hand on that project waiting in the garage.
I hope she’s the one you proudly introduce your minutes-old baby to.
I hope he’s the one you call in desperation when your own newborn baby is screaming in the middle of the night.
I hope she’s the one you call when you get those medical test results back.
I hope he’s the one you call when you just need a cup of coffee and some comfort.
I hope she’s the one you complain to when your toddler flushes another toy down the toilet.
I hope he’s the one you call to plan that surprise birthday party for your parent’s anniversary. (here’s hoping!)
I hope, someday, sooner and later, that you find that despite those differences and those similarities, despite the past, because of the past- that you are siblings. That the bond of brothers and sisters becomes something to always be celebrated.
So here’s to my little four-pack. May you always find that McCowns are best friends. And understand that sometimes being best friends is a little uncomfortable, but always, always worth it in the end.