Through no fault of your own, you will rarely be first.  As the second born, you will often follow a path already pioneered by your older brother.  I imagine that path is, at times, hard to navigate, despite having someone come before you.  I know that your older brother’s shadow is rather large, despite his thin frame.  And in that shadow you spend a good deal of time, quietly playing, almost always smiling, and sometimes scheming.   You watch as your brother composes music by ear, aces tests without studying, and skateboards smoothly down our street as if he was born with those wheels on his feet.  It doesn’t seem fair that these obvious gifts all rest in one brother, leaving you with nothing special.  Yet you, my son, are the most special to me, not because of what you do but because of who you are.

You are the mayor, the goodwill ambassador, and the friend.  Children of all ages feel safe around you because you are kind to everyone. Your teacher told me the other day that when it is your turn to pick a partner in class, you will always take the opportunity to choose the child with whom no one wants to partner.  Hearing that, I have never been prouder.

You are the comedian, our court jester, and tension reliever.  Your smile is infectious; your laugh, contagious.  You know just what to do to crack us up.  Again and again, I’ll say, “do the cherry pie thing!”  And you will.  Again and again.  You are the first to notice when someone is sad and nothing is right until you fix it.  You make the best faces.  Ever.

You are the problem solver and detective.  Despite your brother’s intellectual prowess, we all know he couldn’t find a barn in the middle of a field or his way out of a room with one door.  You can not only find your way, but you find multiple ways to achieve your goals.  We have stopped doubting your solutions, because we are getting weary of your smugness when you prove us wrong, which is almost always.

Your older brother is many wonderful things to me.  But you are the brother who will tackle the 1000 piece puzzle with me.  You are the one with whom I have a secret language that only the two of us understand (meep, meeps, googooba, schmama). You are the one who still lets me wrap him in a towel after a shower (although those days I fear are numbered).  You are the brother I seek when I need an attitude adjustment.  You are the one who reminds me most of myself.

Tomorrow, Chase, you will turn 10 years old.  I think in the years to come, you will trail blaze many paths down which your brother will never travel.  I look forward to watching you and hope that those paths lead always to happiness, and often to home.



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