(Photo of my sister September, my mother, my brother Ranger, and me, Christmas 1977. Oh! And Stretch Monster!)

Today my sister September turns 42. I don’t think she minds me sharing her age, that kind of vanity just isn’t very important to her. But she would want me to tell you about all five of her kids, how generous and good they are, the connection they have to each other as a family. She has stayed at home to raise all of them, a job I look at and marvel because I cannot imagine such strength.

She and I have pretty much nothing in common. In fact, I think you couldn’t draw two more different characters. But she’s reached out to me during this difficult time knowing only the small details I’ve shared here to let me know she’d drop everything in the middle of the night if I needed it. And I believe her.

I used to be such a shit when I was single and had no children, often judging decisions she made regarding her own kids without having any clue what I was talking about. I’m almost eight years into parenthood, and every day I hope that I’m doing as good a job as she has done. I’d be so lucky if my kids turned out anywhere near as good as hers have.

Happy Birthday, Tember.