Big shout-out to my "little" brother (who is taller than me by a full inch). He has been a real life saver for me, especially in the past couple years of dealing with kid issues and family therapy. He and his wife Michelle have been friggin' knights in shining armor when I have needed last-minute childcare or a shoulder to cry on, and they include both of my kids in recreational activities just because they like 'em.
Raechelle and I took them to dinner a few months ago as a thank-you for making it possible for us to date. I think we owe 'em another dinner by now.
Anyway, it's hard to describe the bond I share with Gavin, as it was forged in a lot of early family upheaval and trauma. It sort of goes beyond the average sibling connection - if there is indeed such a thing as an "average" sibling connection. We are perhaps closer in spirit (and far less competitive) because of the eight-year age gap than if we'd been closer in age. I am proud that he's taken up the family business and become an educator. The public school system needs more teachers of his caliber (and they need to be paid properly). I am thankful he and Michelle chose to stay in West Seattle to be close to us after Sam died. I am honored to have him as a brother.
Happy Birthday, Gavin. Love you, bro.