I critique my brother-in-law a lot… Some say it’s bullying but it’s merely critiquing, advising if you will.
‘Stop drinking that cup of custard!”
‘Why did buy those OLD MAN SHOES?!’
YOU CAN’T JUST HATE SIGOURNEY WEAVER!! (!!!!)
I do it because I love him and because I want him to be and have the best.
But one thing I have never critiqued him on was his choice in a wife, a partner in crime, a best friend, Clo.
I remember the first time we met, I picked you and the boys up in my teeny Clio to bring you on an adventure to Glendalough. Along the winding roads, as the boys complained in my choice of playlist (there was a lot of Glee at the time!) you sang with me, over their complaints. We giggled, we whispered, the boys were afraid. They saw it as a bad thing. How could it be? From that day one we became closer and closer. A bond had formed. More like sisters than friends, we’d make breakfast together, go for long walks, lie on top of one another on our in-laws couches (don’t know how John felt about that), pushed each other to strive for great achievements, competed with each other in our own little ways and would discuss (on the daily) both our strongly similar and contrasting opinions on life. And as we grew up together (which we did, we were only babies when we met) we developed into our own personalities. As your hair got shorter, mine got longer. As you became a big city dweller, I moved further and further in the wild Irish countryside. But the bond remained. And although there are times when we both think we’re mad, there is one thing we both agree on. Our boys and just how important they are.
I am so lucky (and relieved) to have you as my partner in the life of being with the Ryan boys. They are both beautifully easy going and hard work all at the same time. To have you through all the good stuff and all the shitty stuff that will happen in our life time as a family. For you to be the aunt to my children (their cool aunt who speaks many languages, has blonde hair and hops around Europe and beyond). For you to laugh with me as the boys create yet another competition for themselves. For you to make me real french toast as everyone else sleeps. For you to be the logical mind to my rambling one. For you to be my sister.
Because you act just like my other sisters do ( big up to Karen and Clare!)
So on this day, just under a month to your wedding. Before the throngs of family come to hug and kiss you and shake your hand warmly. Before my husband descends on you and cracks your back with one of his bear hugs, before our mother-in-law makes us weep with yet another beautiful speech and before your fiancé cries (and he will) as you walk down the aisle. I want to be the first to welcome you into the family, the family you have always been a member of.