This time last year I was working two jobs and looking down the barrel of two more semesters of my undergraduate coursework. Since then I have graduated from college with my bachelor of arts degree in English, tied the knot, traveled through Europe and was recently accepted to graduate school. Were any of these things the catalyst for a quarter life crisis? No. All it took was someone else’s birthday. Not just someone of course. Today my baby brother Spencer turned eighteen years old. This makes me feel like a grown up. Of all the things that have happened to me this year, this makes me stop and think, wow, I’m getting old and it didn’t even happen to me. Why? Well, the answer of course is multifaceted as it always is with me. A) It is logical. If he’s an adult and I am five years older than him I must be an adult. B) I really have no control over the passage of time. I can decide whether or not I want to get married. I cannot pause or better yet rewind time. And c) I have a special sensitivity to events surrounding this very special once a boy, now a man. Together we have experienced innumerable challenges, delighted in the triumphs, mourned the losses and failures, always standing up in tandem ready for the next adventure.
Spencer, adulthood is your next great adventure. I do hope that your eighteenth birthday was one filled with good company, good food, much laughter and great joy. I am very sorry I could not be with you in person but know that I am forever with you in spirit and love, dear boy. The past eighteen years have been for me the greatest blessing.