There are certain gentlemen in this world that do not like sweets (you know who you are!). These salty fellows stroll through life with a taste for the more refined and savory delicacies of the culinary world. Or maybe, when it comes to sugarly delights, they frankly just don't give a damn.
Luckily, my big brother doesn't fall anywhere near that category. Oh no, his appetite for the edible makes me proud. I've seen him eat nearly an entire sleeve of graham crackers BEFORE dinner. He's been known to wrap a bundle of shoestring licorice around his tongue in mere minutes. And pitchers of margaritas? Make them bottomless, especially on vacation, when we've got nowhere to go.
My big brubba. The one who, at nearly six years old, wanted to send me back when I came roaring into the world. The one who tickled me until I peed my pants and blew my budding eardrums out with the Steve Miller Band, The Doors, and Jimi Hendrix when he so graciously drove me to school in the 90s. The one who sat higher up in the tree out back, a plastic desk nested in what seemed like miles above, while I manned the bottom branches and lowering the broken swing down for our mother to send up essentials (bandaids, juiceboxes, cookies).
He brought his older friends to stand guard when the boys teased me after school, and without fail he made light of every love interest I ever had, leaving me in the end with nothing but laughs, regardless of if it worked out or not. He always let me tag along for all the best adventures, and he went all in when it came to his hobbies in life, like car-racing, fly fishing, and cigar smoking. He has given me the gift-that-keeps-giving in the form of a nephew, who is so much his own shadow as he is his own little stubborn and silly bull.
"The Cookie Monster" is just that. A vanilla cupcake with a sparkly blue vanilla buttercream, and the face of one beloved monster with a mouthful of sweet delicious baked confection goodness.
So to my big cookie monster on his 31st birthday. Thank you for sparing me those tortuous years of yellow school buses, all while making me appreciate the wonderful music of generations before us. Thank you for being so crazily passionate and not giving me the option to not learn about your hobbies. Having all of that knowledge always makes me feel like one hell of a refined woman when faced with a room full of men. Thank you for giving me someone to look up to. Whether it was in tree branches or adoration, you set an example for radness and success that pushed me far beyond my years. And thank you for being there always, when I needed you most and when I didn't need you at all.