She’ll always be that little girl in my eyes

I’ve had people tell me that no matter how old my daughter gets, I will always picture her in my mind’s eye as being a little girl with pigtails and food smashed across her face.

Yeah, I can see that.

I already find myself feeling nostalgic while watching her crawl across the living room, typically with two ever-curious dogs following her every motion. I think about how she used to need me to carry her everywhere she needed to go, or how I used to be able to park her somewhere so I could run to the bathroom without fear of her slipping out the door and embarking on a journey that took her to places far and...

But I digress.

My point is, I get it. To me, she will always be that little girl who is basically helpless on her own — that little bundle of wonder and awe who has helped me rediscover all that is beautiful in the world around us. That feeling probably won’t go over very well with her as she gets older and inevitably wants to spread her wings a little, but that’s the reality of the situation.

If I had any doubts about that, they have been cast aside recently as the clock ticks down to Saturday, June 6. That is the day my little sister will be exchanging vows with her intended, and she will be moving forward with her new and exciting life.

Now, for the record, my “little sister” is 41 years old, and has two amazing sons from a previous marriage. By all standards of measure she is a grown woman and very much entitled to live her life any way she sees fit, without interference from me or anyone else.

But I still see pigtails and food smashed across her face.

To be fair, she still does often have food smashed across her face. She also tends to curl up in a ball and scream like a banshee if she doesn’t get what she wants, and has been known to kick her little feet and shake her little fists if she gets too tired.

So, you see why I feel this way about her.

Actually, I adore my sister. She is a vibrant, fun, enthusiastic ball of energy who has never turned down an opportunity to go to a party, or to give her sons a hug. She has a thirst for life and all of its experiences that I could not possibly ever hope to match, and she is one of those people who wears her proverbial heart on her sleeve at all times. If she is happy, you can hear her laugh richochet off the Rockies. If she is mad...

You know what? It’s probably best for all of us if you just don’t get her mad.

Now, one person who is sure to often see the “fire” side of my little sister is Jeremy, the groom in this story, and the winner of the McCann Sweepstakes. Yes, Jeremy, you get the girl. But you get much more than that with this union.

You get the McCanns in the package, in all their whiskey-chugging, bad-joke-telling glory. Trust me, Jeremy. It was one thing to date a McCann girl and spend the occassional holiday with the family, but it’s an entirely different beast to actually join the tribe.

And it’s too late to run now, pal. We’ll find you, tie you up and make you listen to awful puns the entire ride back to the wedding ceremony.

As much as it pains me to say, I have to admit I like Jeremy. He loves my sister, makes every effort possible to bond with my nephews and seems to just have a positive outlook every time I’ve seen him. Is he worthy of my sister? Is anybody?

If anybody is, it’s him.
Now, let me fill you in in some things about my sister that you might not know yet. She loves Strawberry Shortcake, Cabbage Patch dolls and the Smurfs. She took ballet for years and would have continued on that path if she didn’t follow another McCann tradition and rip her knee to shreds. And she can’t get enough Chicken McNuggets. Ever.
See what I mean? I still see her as that little kid who spent as much time spying on her brother and his friends as she did doing anything else.
But the truth of the matter, Jeremy, is you already know what you’re getting — an honest, passionate woman who is raising two remarkable sons and lives to love. She is one of my favorite people on this planet, and I’d feel that way if she wasn’t my sister. You got yourself a good one.

I also want to congratulate our graphic artist, Tom Maglio. He is also getting married on the same day as my sister, and he is marrying way over his head. You, too, got yourself a good one.