My brother had his own language as a toddler, and I was the only one who could interpret it. Ben called me Ha-ah and called himself Benbom. Ben and I were best friends and preferred playmates easily until I started 6th or 7th grade. As teenagers, we had very separate lives. That 2 1/2 year age difference became huge, and also we attended different high schools - I went to public school and Ben went to prep school. The years before I left for college were difficult ones for my family, as our parents separated and divorced. Before Ben left to attend Bryant, both our parents had remarried. It isn't strange that those events probably contribute as much as anything to the close relationship we've always shared, despite that we haven't lived near each other in about a dozen years. And also, a person who remembers you when you tried to see how many pieces of gum you could cram into your mouth in hopes of blowing a bubble worthy of The Guinness Book usually has the ability to make you laugh hard enough to snarf milk at formal family functions.
When we met Maria, we already knew she was The One, and within the first few minutes of meeting her it was easy to see why. I mean, besides that she's staggeringly smart and gorgeous (she's rolling her eyes as she reads that - and modest), but like my brother, Maria has a great outlook on life and a killer sense of humor. My daughter had a unique pronunciation of her name when she began associating names with people, and for the longest time would jumble the syllables to Amira as in "Unta-Ben-and-Amira". Anyway, I think my brother is a pretty awesome guy...and I couldn't have picked a better partner for him.
Today they start their lives together as husband and wife - I wish I could be there to celebrate because we are so excited for them - and I wish them all the best. I hope he doesn't make her laugh and snarf wedding cake because that would make for some pretty funky pictures.
I love you both!