As you may recall, every couple of years or so I like to write you a letter telling you why you are wonderful so that you know I still like you. The only difference is this year, I have a blog ;-).
I figure your birthday is a particularly appropriate time for the next installment, especially this one, since this year we will have been together FIVE YEARS. Wow. I don't know that I've ever stuck with anything for five years voluntarily, except maybe college.
So that being said, let me get right down to business...
I love you because you don't let yourself get worked up over the kind of stuff some of us (cough, cough) get worked up over, like politics, religion, and difficult people. Though I know you get irritated, you don't lose your sh*t (pardon my punctuation) - you don't let it steal your peace. I cannot tell you how much I admire you for that and wish I were more like you in that way. You can usually manage to talk me down at least a little when I start to lose it over one of these things, which I greatly appreciate!
I also think you are awesome for carrying this mindset over into your work. As you once pointed out to me, people generally don't ask to see the manager because they are happy. As a manager, your job largely consists of dealing with unhappy, angry, rude, condescending, demanding, even violent people. And you have to smile and be Johnny Flipping Sunshine through it all, explaining to the millionth person why they should ALWAYS PURCHASE APPLE CARE and apologizing for things that aren't your fault.
I. have. no. idea. how. you. do. it.
(See? Johnny Flipping Sunshine.)
Literally. It takes so much strength and self-control to wake up and be you every day. To me, you are so brave.
Then you come home after being on your feet all day and serve Sophie and I when I'm sure all you want to do is dump your pent-up frustrations from work. You make it a point to take on the particularly unpleasant tasks that you know I hate doing, like cleaning the bathroom and changing diapers, as well as some fun/creative ones that just make my life more awesome in general.
(Remember the time you re-painted and re-upholstered all the dining room chairs while I was out of town? Awesome.)
(And the time you surprised me by stringing white Christmas lights behind the headboard just like I told you I'd always dreamed of?)
When we first brought Sophie home and I was struggling with postpartum depression, you did every diaper change for at least the first week. I remember being afraid that she would bond more with you than with me, which was probably a very real possibility! Luckily we pulled through that dark time because you were there to do all the chores, run all the errands, and, on a few crucial nights, take on all the feedings for 8 hours straight so that I could rest. I felt your love for both your girls so palpably through that whole ordeal. You take such good care of us.
Can I talk for a minute about what an amazing father you are? I've trolled a lot of "mommy forums", blogs, and Facebook posts, and believe you me (and I almost hesitate to tell you this), you are the pick of the litter where dads are concerned. You are so involved in every aspect of parenting. For you, there are very few things that only a mom is supposed to do. It's so obvious that you love being a father. Watching you and Sophie interact brings me some of my best happiness.
I remember this Facebook app that would ask you to compare random friends; stuff like, "Who is funnier, John Smith or Jane Brown?" This one time, it asked me, "Who would be a better father, (insert name of person I was currently dating) or (insert random other guy friend)?" And I was uncomfortably startled to realize, that I genuinely believed that random-other-guy-friend, whom I'd literally met twice, would make a better father. I never forgot that, because I realized in that moment how important it was to me to believe in my heart that NO ONE in the world would make a better father than the man I married. One of the first things I thought to myself when I first met you was that I'd never met anyone I thought would make a better father. That's the truth, and it hasn't changed.
Did I mention that you are embarrassingly good looking? Like, seriously, you should probably be ashamed of yourself.
I have a bunch of other notes scribbled down about a dozen other things that I could say about you, (you make me feel beautiful, you are so wise, you pick your battles, you make me laugh...) but I don't want to cheapen what I've already said by making this a million scrolls long.
Let me just end by saying that, as corny as it sounds, the main thing I love about you would probably have to be that "certain something" that cannot be described. I have no idea what it is, but it makes me absolutely sure of one thing:
I could not do this with anyone else.
Whatever "it" is, it made me IM my good friend Becca the morning after we met with, "I met the man I'm going to marry. Don't tell anyone I said that though."
(Remember the night we met? Awesome.)
I can't wait to have a million more babies with you, then retire so we can travel the world together without them ;-).
Happy Birthday, love.