I figured my brother was owed a bit more than a one line blurb, but I wanted to get that out right away before I delved into work (wheee! I'm delving!)

Today is my oldest brother Tom's 26th birthday. It's easy to remember how old he is because I simply add three years to my age (although, sometimes I do forget how old *I* am, which becomes a problem). Tom and I are three years, three days apart. This may have laid the groundwork for the years of hate we had for each other. I'm pretty sure he didn't ask for a little sister for his third birthday. Not many kids do.

Growing up, Tom and I fought like cats and dogs. There was nothing that couldn't lead to an argument and the beatings that usually followed. It was pretty much 17 years of straight bickering and fighting. Then one day while I was a freshman in college, I swear to God, my brother woke up and thought to himself "Wow, my sister can function in society. Maybe I should give her a chance." And by that time I had mellowed down from a psychotic little sister (which I totally was) into something that actually resembled a decent human being.

Over the past 5 years, TOm and I have steadily grown closer - trying to mend the past wounds inflicted on each other (to this day I still have a vivid memory of Tom cornering me in the kitchen with a staple gun giggling maniachly and I'm fairly certain that he still has scars from where I scratched him in retalliation). But we're working on that. I've gone out to visit him in DC twice now, and both times were absolutly fantastic. When I went for spring break he greated me at the airport with a metro pass that already had enough fare to get me around the city for my first day. He came to see me graduate from college and bought me my first tool set.

Tom's had a hard job, being the oldest kid. Oldest children generally get to be the top of the phone tree when something goes wrong or if parents have a message to the rest of us kids. He was the first to notify me when we found out that Mom was okay this summer. He makes sure that us who are kinda out of the loop know what's going on. It's a hard job, and I hope he knows how much I appreciate it.

So before this gets any longer (you all know how longwinded I am) I would just like to tell Tom just one more thing:

I love you, Tom, and I am very very glad to have you as an older brother.