For my brother, who takes enormous amount of pride in being the person who can annoy me like no-one else on this earth.
It’s your 18th birthday soon. We’ve planned a surprise for you. You said you hate surprises. But this your family and we are not going to listen. You know your favourite place? We’re going to recreate it. And it might not be the tropics, and we don’t have sand or a pool where you can watch the sunset but we’re going to try the best we can. So for the day, we will be on holiday in our home, and we won’t turn on the news. We will turn off the world for the day. In our little bubble of bliss.
We will spend the day laughing, and I promise once we come out of this, I’ll take you to all the places I know with the cheapest drinks and the best music. When I was 18, I got to go to Magaluf, knowing I tried my best in my exams. I didn’t know how to appreciate it properly at the time but now I know I was lucky. I’m sure everything will work out and you’ll get into that university you want so badly. My fingers are crossed for you.
I’m grateful that amongst all this mess, we have each other. And sometimes I forget this reality we are living in. Because we’re carrying on. Still arguing abut what to watch on TV or who should do the washing up. Never apologising to each other because our egos are too big. And then the next minute we’re laughing about some ridiculous tik tok or you’re asking me to shave your head because what else is there to do when you’re stuck inside?
I hope your 18th is one to remember. Not because of what is going on in the world, but because of the day we have planned. That for a day we pretend we are on the island of Saint Lucia.
Happy 18th Josh, I love you.
From your big older sister, who can’t wait to go to the pub with you (so you can pay for the drinks).