In honour of her birthday, this post is dedicated to my sister.
All my old photos are fuzzy, so I can't show you Michelle and I playing ping pong when she was 7 (I'm 12 years older, so do the math); tipping a canoe when she was 8; picnicing at Peggy's Cove when she was 10; beating the boys in a snowball fight when she was 12.
But I can tell you about how she cried her first day of kindergarten because she wanted to do work and all the teacher made them do all day was play.
And I can tell you how she and I got her up early one morning and walked through the dawn mist to see the herd of deer that came by every day.
I could also tell you how I introduced her to alcohol (apple cider) when she was 16, but Dad sometimes reads this blog, so shh!
Actually there's lots of things I could tell you about Michelle...but I won't. Some secrets are meant to be kept.
Michelle looked after my kids when they were babies, dandling them on her knee, playing with them, adoring them. And after Anna was born, she came to stay and stayed up all night rocking a colicky baby so I could sleep between nursings.
It's all the little things that mean the most. Laughing our heads off because we got stuck in a fold out couch - and managed to not spill our wine; singing along to The Sound Of Music; camping and cooking and commiserating.
And now she is married with three kids, and though we live four hours apart we still manage. I am going to see her on Wednesday; she and the family will be up to do our annual Christmas Cookie Bake in December. Of all the family, Michelle is the one I see the most.