To my newest niece or nephew,
I kept you a secret for 67 days.
I normally have no trouble keeping secrets, but you were different.
When your mama told me about you, I was surprised.
When I was sure she had actually told me the truth, I was also proud and excited to learn I was an uncle to a third child.
I wanted to tell everybody about you, but I knew I had to keep you secret until you grew and your parents were ready to announce you to the world.
I knew you were an important secret I had to keep, because my best friend asked me to keep it.
I learned about you July 8, nine days before I left on a jet plane (three, really) to meet your Pawpaw and Grandma in South Dakota.
I had to keep you a secret from them the whole trip, and I succeeded.
We met your family on an island in Michigan, where your mama and daddy finally told the secret.
It took your grandparents a while to understand. When they did, they were overjoyed.
I was, too, but I knew I still couldn’t tell anybody else about you.
My best friend still wasn’t ready to talk.
If you haven’t figured it out by now, my best friend is your mama.
She’s also my sister. If you have a minute, I’d like to tell you something about sisters.
They are awesome.
If you don’t believe me, allow me to present the following evidence:
- Mine still loves me, even though I let her get shocked by an electric fence in our backyard once.
- Mine still loves me, even though I split her eyebrow with a plastic boomerang I bought from Bud’s Department Store and she had to go to the emergency room to get stitches.
- Mine still loves me, even though I was one of the reasons we both got sun poisoning one summer.
- Mine still loves me, even though I made fun of all three of her attempts to parallel park her minivan in downtown Atlanta.
- Mine still loves me, even though I ate most of what made up our $71 bill at The Cheesecake Factory when I took her on our last brother-sister outing.
We talk most days, even though we live 895 miles apart.
Sometimes we FaceTime.
Sometimes, she calls me when she’s on her way to the grocery store.
I love her. I’ve loved her all of her life.
Some people may say it’s a weird thing for older brothers to look up to their younger sisters, but I look up to her.
I don’t think I’ve ever been prouder of anyone.
She just might be the best friend I’ll ever have.
If I were a betting man, I’d bet her best friend is your daddy. I’m good with that. He’s earned it. He’s good to her. He makes her happy, which is all I can ask.
He’ll be there for you, and he’ll make you laugh just like he makes your sisters laugh.
You hit the sister jackpot, because you’ve got two of them.
Your sisters, Maelynn and Maggie, are twins.
They’re just 1 year old, but they’ve already got a lot of personality and a big bond.
I can already see they really love each other.
I’ll let you in on a secret about them.
I believe they already love you.
Sometimes, when I talk to them, they will lay their heads on your mama’s belly and pat it.
Then they always smile.
I finally got to tell people about you eight days ago.
I’ve had plenty of proud uncle moments in the past 475 days since your sisters arrived, and you’ve already added several to the list.
I can’t wait to meet you, but I am capable of patience.
After all, I kept you a secret for 67 days.
I’m no mathematician, but the website which gave me the number of days also gave me some other numbers.
It turns out the 67 days I kept you a secret are also equal to 5,788,800 seconds, 96,480 minutes, 1,608 hours or 18.36 percent of this year.
It was worth it.