Today is my little brother's birthday.  I still call him little brother despite the fact that he is almost 6 feet tall, is married and now has a daughter of his own.  He will always be younger than me and in my eyes my baby brother. 

This being his special day and all caused me to think on our sibling relationship and how grateful I am for it.  He is my brother.  In my cell phone contacts I don't have his name, simply "brother".  The Things think that is funny.  I don't remember the last time I used his given name, he is either Uncle J or brother. 

Growing up the relationship was a bit rocky.  There was this time I almost broke his nose.  The numerous yelling matches we had over Nintendo or whose turn it was to feed the dogs.  Even all out fisticuffs which I'm sure were initiated over meaningless battles.  Then there were all the softball games he had to go to when he would have much rather been with his buddies.  Or the shadow he walked in of a sister who was teacher's pet and quite rebellious on the home front.  Who knew that when we grew up he would be one of my best friends?

He is the guy I can call when I just don't think I've got it right.  Or when I don't have words to explain.  The one who will laugh with me about our childhood and remember all "those times".  A brother who forgave this sister, more than once.  The one who was and still is effortlessly great at everything his hands touch.  Favored by the Creator.  Charming and authentic.  A man of commitment and dedication.  A brother whom is now a father.  And if that's not the sweetest thing to watch.  Genuine. Yet still the one that can make me scream with frustration but also one who makes my heart burst out of my chest.

I love you brother and I do hope that this year of 31 is filled with unexpected blessings and life's sweetest joy.  Happy birthday!

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