Schmin, besides that you are the only fruit my loins will ever bear, here are 13 reasons why I love you (I tried to narrow it down to ten, but considering that I could think of at least 10,000, I figure 13 is pretty good):
13) At a party once, when the dean of one of UCLA's colleges tried to tempt you with the "amazing and innovative programs" his school has to offer, you said to him, Sorry man, that's not my thing. At least you're honest.
12) We have shared the nickname Schmin since you were 7.
11) You made me friends. When we were in grad school at Columbia, living in our Columbia apartment near the campus, I'd see classmates and acquaintances and duck to the other side of the street, as is my way. But you, ever gregarious and ready to buddy up, made a point of busting me by yelling to people, Hey, how you doing? Here's my mom. She says hi!
10) You started your own catering business, Kid in the Kitchen, in 9th grade. You single-handedly served school functions and PTA meetings. You took it in stride when people accused you of passing off your mother's baked ziti and salad (and when you'd come home, we'd get big yuks out of that while me and Steven would hit you up for the leftovers).
9) You've always been generous, offering up your pennies so that I never had to rob your piggy bank for gas money.
8) You illuminated my life with a single question. When I expressed anger over having to return my new Mac because the CD drive didn't work, you said to me, "You didn't want a broken one, did you?"
7) You starred as MLK in a first grade tribute. You delivered one hell of an "I Have a Dream," even though you didn't have any front teeth.
6) You will happily claim anyone as a relative. You have no truck with particulars like who is the daughter of which aunt or the father of what cousin. I could show up with a Ukrainian baby and you would immediately go around telling everyone it's your brother.
5) You didn't gripe when I saddled you with the hokey title "Lad of Honor" at my wedding. And when it was time for you to hold my flowers, you did it without (too much) exaggerated masculinity.
4) You so easily loved the Bubba.
3) The two of us together can ride a joke until the wheels fall off.
2) Your grandmother may have doubted many things, but she never doubted that you adored her.
1) You could have made me a 35-year-old grandma, but you didn't.
Happy 21, Schmin. Right now it's killing me that's it's all gone by so fast.