February holds the title for the month of love. While I think the Valentines Day hype in and of itself, the pink and red and expectations and insane influx of drugstore chocolates, is a bit obscene, I adore the way it almost forces people to stop and notice love. Recognizing the ones we love and showing them compassion or little acts of kindness, should be a regular occurrence. But it doesn't always happen that way. Sometimes life happens instead and we take love for granted.
Today, I wanted to write this letter for my one true love and if it makes you gag a little, I apologize in advance. If you don't know this about me already, I'm a hopeless romantic and a sappy, nostalgic writer. You've been warned.
To my husband (after kids),
I didn't think it was possible to love you any more, but as you held my hand and actually made me laugh mid-labor, I realized I was wrong.
Having a baby changed our whole lives, that part is undeniable. And sometimes I miss the freedom that came with just winging a date night out or long movie marathons cuddled on the couch with wine and homemade cookies.
But now I have something else.
I have the sight of you making her laugh as you tickle your beard on her soft, round cheeks.
I have the sound of the rocking chair and you singing her to sleep.
I have an even deeper respect for your patience and dedication.
I thought you'd seen me at my worst before, but I set a new bar and you came through with even more strength. You handled the fear and mess of a delivery room better than I could have ever hoped for. Did you know that your excitement that day made me actually forget the pain?
You. You were perfect.
You are a rock when I am quicksand.
I love that we keep learning things about each other, that I keep uncovering these nuances in your character that make you even more endearing each day. I know "endearing" may not be the word I use in the midst of some days, but I hope you know that I love every nook and cranny of who you are. I don’t understand how toothepaste finds its way to all corners of the vanity and the way you chew cereal is like listening to Chewbacca nosh on my 90’s CD collection. But you are faithful and kind and respectful and goofy and everything I could ever want in my partner for life.
The stress you feel must be tremendous, and it's a burden you accepted willingly to give me my dreams and our babies a mom who can stay home with them and nurture them as they grow. It takes a selfless and heartstrong man to do that. Can I ever thank you enough? Sure, for the big things, you know I'm grateful.
But I want to say thank you for taking out the trash on Mondays and Thursdays even when it’s still dark out and ice is paving the sidewalks.
For getting up earlier to walk the dog and playing with him when you get home, even though you’re tired and he’s like a hurricane.
For being an active participant in the diaper-changing load.
For kissing our daughter and telling her you love her every day.
For kissing me and telling me you love me every day.
For eating my dinners, even when they’re burnt.
For putting up with my “healthy substitutions” in baked goods that aren’t meant to be healthy.
For still looking at me like I still have 6 pack abs, even though there’s a stretch mark there instead.
For wanting to create traditions with our daughter like Waffle Saturdays and Coffee Walks
For helping me dream bigger, then pushing me to act.
For cleaning the showers because it's my least favorite chore.
For playing board games with me.
For sensing when I’m stressed and knowing just what will make it better.
For being a safe place to rest.
For listening, even when I don’t make sense.
For never making me feel like I needed to hide something from you.
For being honest, even when the truth hurts.
Day after day you show selflessness and dedication to being a great husband, father, and provider all in one. It’s taken sacrifices. Sacrifices I don’t want you to have to make. Your dreams may have taken some adjustments over the years, but I hope you're still happy where you are and where they've taken you. I want you to have it all — every dream and figment of happiness your brilliant mind can conjure because you deserve it so much. And I hope I can be your partner in making them happen.
There’s this stuffy air of judgment these days as people say it’s a mistake to marry young or marriage is a waste.
But marrying you was still the best thing I ever did. I love being married to you. I want to always be married to you.
I never want to loose “us” in the chaos of life. The things that make you you, and the things that make me me-- I don’t want to look back and find that those things have faded and we’ve become blobs that just get through the day, rinse, and repeat. We have to keep each other present and silly and brave and adventurous. Because while we will change over time as all people do, I want to change together. And I don’t want change to mean letting go of the qualities that made us fall in love in the first place.
Even though we have another little human to care for now, you are my #1 and you always will be.
Your wife after kids
AKA still your wife.