My brother-in-law Jason’s birthday was like two weeks ago.

We’re running a little behind here, ok?

Next year Jason and my sister will celebrate their 10-year wedding anniversary. Really? TEN YEARS? It seems unbelievable, so I did the math over and over.

I’m mentioning their upcoming anniversary just to show that Jason’s been around for a while. Even before they tied the knot, Jason joined us for things like Easter and Thanksgiving and my granny’s birthday. He’s been part of our family for something like 13 years. Is that right? We were still in our teens back then…

Jason grew up in Vermont, which means he talks a little funny. It also means that once, when he visited Virginia in March, he thought it would be warm enough to swim.

Nowadays Jason and I don’t get to hang out much because they all live over in Taiwan.

This summer their whole family came to visit. Jason was doing some training, so he arrived a few weeks after Kristie, Ellie, Abram and John Amos.

As soon as Jason arrived, there was an immediate change in my sister and the kids. Suddenly they were all more relaxed and at ease. It wasn’t like something was wrong before, but as soon as Jason arrived they just seemed completely themselves.

Maybe that seems obvious; of course any woman will be more relaxed when her husband is around to help with their three kids. Of course the kids will be excited and let loose when their daddy is around to play chase with them in the yard and tuck them in at night.

Since I don’t get to see my sister and her family very often, one thing we miss out on is seeing their family dynamic. And seeing how their family dynamic transform once Jason was with them was a palpable reminder of what a great dad Jason is, and how much he loves my sister.

It’s hard when your family lives so far away, but it helps knowing that Jason’s taking care of them.

Happy birthday, Jason.

(And next time we hang out we need to go for a run. I’m not sure how you got off the hook this summer.)

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