Thirty-five years ago you were born. I'm sure you were a cute baby, but we don't have any pictures of that time. You were definitely a cute little boy, thank goodness for your grandma saving a few things. You were an awkward teen, but who isn't?
Fourteen years ago we met. I just had to add the years in my head and I am stunned that it's been that long. I think about where I was fourteen years ago, who I was. It's a lifetime ago.
We have never had the kind of relationship where we wax poetic about our feelings for each other. Even writing that sentence makes me feel a little icky. I didn't buy you a card today or a present. I didn't forget, I just know that you make 99% of the money that comes into this house and, frankly, you don't really care about presents.
I suggested that you get yourself a Birthday Cake shake at Steak n Shake today and you did. You said it was too sweet. We ordered dinner for ourselves and made the kids hot dogs to eat in front of the tv. It was almost like a date.
You mowed the lawn today and I heard you singing while you did it. I love that.
You didn't have anything in particular that you wanted to do today so we took the kids to the pool, found out that it opens an hour later now that school has started. Who knew? It's Saturday, why does school matter on Saturday? I was mad. You suggested we go to the lake and spraygrounds instead, so we did. It was a good choice and we all had a great time.
I love that you are the calm to my storm. You are the encouraging words I need to hear in order to make hard choices in my life. You will never tell me no to something that I really want to try. You motivate me to be more in my life, to do more, but only if I want to. You have never made me feel that I am less of a person because I have chosen to stay home with the kids. You honored my choice several years ago and have never looked differently at our life.
I love the man you are. I love that you have taken a crappy start and turned it into success. You don't know anything less and I know that you don't think that it means much, what you've done. But look out into the world. Not everyone can step out of a deep hole and make something of themselves. You did.
You had a craptastic dad as an example and yet you are a wonderful father. You would never speak to our children the way that your dad did. We're over the daddy issues, I know, but I still mourn for you that you didn't get to experience what having a loving and supporting family can mean. I'm glad that my family has turned into a support system for you.
Birthdays, like anniversaries, turn out to mean more than just a date. It's remembering where you've been and where you're going. I don't know where this next year will take us, but I know it will be just fine. After all, you're the one I come home to and say "Did you hear when he said that?" and you're already laughing because, not only do you know exactly what I'm talking about, but you thought it was funny too.
Even though we are very different people, you are the yin to my yang. Happy birthday.