Today, one of my little sisters turns 26. On Friday, we celebrated her birthday, and as usual, I decided to take the opportunity to get a little too introspective while grilling chicken and clearing plates. This is a big year for my sister Claire-- this is the year she is getting married. But she isn't just marrying Andrew, she's marrying a whole other family as well. More people to love. More people to worry about. More people to cause to worry.
When you have a child, your family grows by one. But when you get married, your family grows by many in the single moment it takes to say "I do."
It seemed appropriate that Claire celebrated the beginning to the year she gets married with her family and her soon-to-be family, a family that I personally am already quite fond of.
I went to college with Claire's fiance Andrew and his sister Rita. They are both wonderful and always have been; I was always happy when I would run into either of them at college parties or while lounging at the waterfront. I know that I actually only get to lay claim to Andrew as an in-law, but I have already started to think of the entire clan as a part of ours.
One thing you learn from growing up in a big family is how to share. So Claire, like it or not, will be forced to share her new family with us all. Gus has already taken to calling Hazel his cousin. However, that could get a little awkward if Arlo's giant crush on her doesn't weaken.
Happy Birthday, Claire. You've got a hell of a year ahead of you.