|Me, Philip, and Taylor. Pictures are hard.|
Then there is Philip...
Philip came into this world only two weeks after the death of my grandfather. He was what my family needed at the right time. I handled his birth a little bit differently than Taylor's, I mean didn't fling him to the floor while I was holding him. Philip, P Man, or Phoppy depending on who is talking to him, has a pretty unique story. In first grade, it became very apparent that he struggled with reading. I mean struggled with reading. He was later tested, and we found out that had multiple learning disabilities. My parents were told that he would never read at grade level, would never graduate high school, would never go to college, and would struggle with learning and reading his whole life. Let me tell what this kid, my parents, and a dedicated team of teachers made happen. He started to read beyond grade level, he made the Arkansas All-State Choir three years in a row, he graduated with honors and as a member of the National Honor Society, he got accepted into college, he passed his national boards exams to be an athletic trainer, and on Friday he graduates college with the Cum Laude distinction. Not too bad for a kid that was never supposed to read. If I could take one moment and be an education advocate, if Philip had to do what our third graders in Oklahoma are asked to do with their state reading test, Philp wouldn't have made it this far. Our Phoppy has come a long way from the kid that used to wear and play in his "thinking costume" aka his bathrobe, that ran out of my grandma's house naked to greet a group of firefighters that were passing out candy canes, and that broke every ceiling fan globe in our house playing swords. He is loving and kind, and he still gets worked up when I tease him. He still gets me things when I demand them from him, and he only does so with minor amounts of complaining.
So to Tay Turd and Phoppy, I'm so proud of you. I'm thankful for our childhood, but I'm more grateful for our adult friendships. Now remember I might be a foot shorter than both of you, but I'm still the boss and in charge. Because bossy older sister is a role I was meant to play! Now for the love, will one of you please go get me some Kleenex for the crying I just did.