To my future brother(s)-in-law,

We’re really close, the six of us sisters. And in some ways, it will always be the six of us. I’m not sure any of us have ever really understood what it would mean to let someone else in; to trust someone else enough to show them what we’re really like when we don’t have to be polite and normal in front of “company.” We were all single for so long, that the idea of any of us dating and even marrying was something we talked about in hypothetical. We would talk about the weddings we would get to plan. We would fight over who gets which names for their children. We would place bets on who would be the cool aunt (obviously me) and who would always get stuck babysitting for free (Sophie, because she’s the youngest). But we never really brought anyone around. We never took anyone seriously.

But you took my sister seriously. You looked at her and saw something wonderful. You had the courage to take a chance and the faith to see it through. Out of all the other girls in this world, you chose her, and I compliment you on your good taste. But what’s more, my sister chose you. She let you into her heart and into our family, and she made promises to you. She accepted you for everything you are, and she gave you everything she has and everything she is. And if you’re the kind of guy I think you are, you gave her every part of yourself, holding nothing back. I commend you for it. It’s how I know you deserve her.

There’s probably something you should know, since you’ve vowed to love my sister forever: We’re a bit weird. I should probably apologize for it, since I’m the oldest, and my mother will tell you everything is my fault of course, but it’s probably just better if you become accustomed to it. We probably tried to act “normal” around you in an effort not to scare you off with our special brand of craziness, but I doubt we were that successful. But if you’re the sort of guy I think you are, you’re probably just a little bit weird yourself. I can’t really picture any of my sisters falling in love with a guy that doesn’t have a bit of craziness hiding somewhere inside of them.

However, in an effort to make your transition as our brother (and we will call you our brother often and excessively, because we’ve been waiting for one for decades), here are a few things you should probably be made aware of:

· We do everything together. And when I say everything, I mean anything from running to the bank to going on vacation. None of us really like to be alone, because we’ve never really had to be. So be ready to be constantly in the company of your wife and possibly your new-found sisters. (But don’t worry, because we do understand the importance of privacy.)

· Most of the things we say are quotes from a movie, television show, comedy sketch, or random things we’ve made up. It may sound like a secret language, but you’ll pick it up eventually. Also, we talk quickly and some of us (cough…Maggie…cough) at a higher decibel than most humans can hear. Feel free to jump in when you can.

· Disneyland is and always will be the happiest place on earth. If you disagree, it’s probably better if you keep that to yourself and just smile and play along as we plan family vacations to the most over-priced and crowded vacation destination in the entire world. (And no, Disneyworld is NOT the same thing.)

· Anything you do that is embarrassing, ridiculous, and/or awkward is going to end up on Twitter, Facebook, instagram, and any other social networking site we can think of. Feel free to retaliate accordingly.

· We are a bit on the competitive side, whether it’s deciding who remembers more Harry Potter trivia or who is the most clever. And we tend to fight dirty. And we remember everything.

Also, and this is important, you can never abuse my sister. You cannot demean her, take advantage of her trust, or treat her like anything less than the amazing and beautiful person she is. You don’t have the right to do that. You are her husband, her partner, her lover, her best friend. She loves you more than anything in this world, second only to God, and you have a responsibility to protect her.

But you’re human. So you’re probably going to make a mistake. You’re probably going to hurt her, maybe even make her cry, and sometimes you might not even mean to. And in that moment, I’m going to take her side. I will always take her side, because that’s what sisters do. I will listen to her, calm her down, and reassure her. But I won’t try to fix it for you or for her. I won’t tell her what to do. I won’t get in the way of your relationship.

And I’ll never tell her you aren’t the man for her. I’ll never tell her that she chose wrong or made a mistake. I’ll never tell her she deserves better, that she settled for you, that you aren’t worthy of her. I wouldn’t do that to you, and I would never do that to her.

You are her family now. You are in this together, for better or worse, in sickness and in health, ‘til death do you part. You made vows to each other, promises. And I’m so excited to see you both honor them. I’m excited to watch you grow with each other and with God. I’m excited to watch your family grow, one beautiful baby at a time.

So, here’s some advice from you perpetually single sister-in-law. (Hopefully by the time you exist, that won’t be true.) But until then…

Laugh often.

Love fiercely.

Speak patiently.

Listen carefully.

Care deeply.

Be spontaneous.

Be adventurous.

Be passionate.

Travel together.

Make music together.

Read books together.

Create life together.

Pray together.

Grow every second.

Smile every minute.

Kiss every day.

Treasure each moment.

Know that your wife is the most wonderful, gorgeous, loving, extraordinary woman in the world. Know that you were meant for each other, that God created you for her and her for you. Know that you deserve happiness, but you’ll have to work for it. Know that marriage is anything but easy. And know that, with God, your story as husband and wife will be beautifully written.


Your new favorite sister (in-law).

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