Kaylie (or as I used to refer to you, Klee),
Today is your birthday. Your twenty fourth birthday, which is surprising.
On one side, I can’t believe it’s already been 24 years.
I remember the day I went to the hospital to meet you. I remember walking down the hallway to meet my sister for the first time – McDonald’s bag in hand – and being disappointed to learn that I couldn’t share my fries with you. Apparently newborns are not allowed to eat McDonald’s – I’m skeptical. This is one of my earlier memories, and one of my most vivid. I think largely because our minds tend to anchor memories to moments that are so impactful. And while I was only 3 years and 6 days old, that was still one of the most impactful days in my life to-date.
You were my first friend. The first person I built a fort with. The first person I had a sleepover with. And the first person I did share my fries with (when you were old enough, of course). In the 8,766 days since I first met you we oscillated from inseparability, to a period of indifference, to the strong bond we share today – not just as siblings, but as friends. When I’m working through a tough problem, I call you. When something good happens, I call you. And you do the same. You’re my coach and my cheerleader wrapped into one, and I hope you feel the same about me.
On the other side, I can’t believe it’s only been 24 years.
When I, or anyone, looks at your life, it’s remarkable just how much of an impact you’ve made in such a short amount of time. First, the people. You have made an impact in a lot of people personally. You’re the one that your friends come to for wisdom, and you’re the one pushing people to be better. You are direct yet empathetic; pragmatic yet understanding. You are strong.
You have an ability to compel people to action unlike many I’ve met before. I could see it from a young age and I always thought it *could* be dangerous. If you want something, you get something. As Uncle Ben said: “with great power comes great responsibility”. No one will question that you have great power, what has been awesome to see is that you take great care to carry that with responsibility. You get things done.
At just twenty four years, you’ve built a career for yourself with an entrepreneurial spirit and drive. You are a leader, bringing people together to operate at high capacity with strong execution. People respect you and they want to win for you. That is leadership.
This next year is an exciting one. You and Tristan are about to expand your family and bring in another tiny human into this world together. I have no doubt that you will be an awesome mom because you are an awesome wife, daughter, sister, and friend.
I am proud that I get to call you my sister and my friend.
Happy Birthday Klee. Love you,