Today is your 38th birthday. And you and I have discussed it, but we are at a point where we feel both young and old. Perhaps that is how it should be? Perhaps this is a good way to feel? I suppose it’s not up to us. Anyway, I said words to you last night, true words: Better than ever. Yes.
Do you remember that first birthday we spent together? We were babies. I was 23 and you were turning 26 and we’d just met. We were all of ten days into this romance, babe, and you and I both knew and yet how could we? We sat there, in a coffee shop that no longer exists because time passes and things change, and we drank hot chocolate. And we talked and talked. There was so much ground to cover.
And we’ve covered it. And continue to cover it. This ground that is our life.
Our life. Our life full of days and years, but most importantly moments. You know that I’ve become more and more aware of how it is the little in-between moments that perhaps matter most, that are the most meaningful. Moments like on Saturday night when I trailed behind you on our snow-covered street.
Moments like this morning when I looked over and saw you on the couch with our little girls who love you an impossible amount. I know you will agree that in this birthday and on every day, they are your, and our, greatest gifts.
They’ve been counting down to today. They’ve been making you cards for weeks, folding them up, stuffing them in the felt advent calendar that hangs on our steps. When they get home from school in a bit, we will frost your chocolate cake and put candles in it and sing. And then they will attack you with hugs just as they did this morning.
This morning was a beast, no? I’m not sure why, but they totally schooled us and you and I were left feeling like exasperated rookies even we’ve been doing this for almost seven years now. They boycotted breakfast, insisted on last minute showers. We couldn’t find their hats and gloves. But, in the end, we did it. They got where they needed to go. And they left in their wake a single word on the kitchen island, spelled out in Christmas kisses.
You and I did a little birthday breakfast downtown at one of our favorite places. And we cozied up in that leather booth and ate way too much, but wasn’t it good? And we talked and we talked. Just as we did twelve years ago. We talked about different things because things are different now – we are married, in a staggering swirl of sweet girls, immersed in a busy life that is nothing but a privilege – but in so many ways this morning was just like twelve years ago. You and me. Alone. Together.
I will save a bit of the gushy stuff because our anniversary is on Wednesday. Nine years, kid. How can it be? What I want you to know, all I really need you to know, on this, your 38th birthday, is that I love you, that all four of us love you. To pieces and deeply and forever. You are our very favorite guy.
Happy birthday, babe.