On your birthday 10 years ago, we had just gotten engaged. You came into our first shared bedroom to find 25 wrapped gifts on our bed, to honor your 25th birthday.
On your birthday nine years ago we were preparing to get married. We took a trip to NYC to meet Twin halfway between Philadelphia and Boston, and to visit my my sister. We drank hot chocolate in the lobby of our fancy hotel and played connect four in a hipster bar, before I knew what a hipster bar even was. We walked through the Central Park zoo and played dress- up in FAO Schwartz.
On your birthday eight years ago we had just bought our first house. We had our Lola and took her for a winter weekend at the beach house. There, we played Scrabble, you opened the binder of love that I had made for you and we ran along the sand. On the day of your birthday, we ate crepes at Reading Terminal for breakfast. There was lots of cake.
Thank you, Facebook, for reminding me that we had at least 4 cakes and Red Velvet Cake ice cream. And that is why I will not be posting any pictures of us from that birthday. You’re welcome. On your birthday six years ago you were a daddy. Photos of cakes were replaced by albums of photos of our daughter.
On your birthday five years ago you entered into your next decade!
I surprised you with a Hawaiian themed birthday party. There, I wore a flower bra, we ate my dad’s amazing cooking, watched a video-montage of your life (“Live a life less ordinary, live a life extraordinary with me…”) and we danced in my parents’ basement, which I had previously converted into a “night club”. I had special hot sauce made as a party favor that said something like “Hot and Spicy, Just like Kenny!”
On your birthday four years ago……I have no idea what we did. We had a real kid, and she dominated our lives, and photos. Your birthday no longer got two photo albums on Facebook. Mobile Uploads became a thing.
On your birthday three years ago we had just moved into our new house. After weeks of work and renovations, we spent our very first night in our new home on your 32nd birthday.
And, let it be said, you got even cuter with age! And it would be our last birthday as a family of 3 humans.
I posted this photo with this caption:
On your birthday two years ago we had a night out without our TWO kids. I have no idea where we went, but apparently the drinks were a-flowin’ (see previous sentence). Once again, I must thank the old book of Face for jogging my memory. And for preserving our memories.
We had settled in as a family of four, though life had changed more dramatically than we could have ever predicted. We were no longer the same as individuals, nor as a unit; we had been put through the ringer, but we came out of it together.
Last year, on your 33rd birthday, I looked to you as my rock. You had stood by me through our toughest times, when others, likely, could not have. I had watched you grow from a round-faced young adult into a handsome, strong man. You awed me every day.
Today is your birthday, and you are not yet awake. You are in bed, in the dark of our room, as our daughter is asleep in her sleeping bag on our floor (she had a “terrible nightmare”). I am sitting with our son, waiting for you to wake up so that I can make you poached eggs with truffles and tell you that I love you.
Because Kenny, I love you very much.
On your birthday this year I can tell you that I appreciate you, cherish you, admire you and am more grateful to you than ever. In this past year we have shared some incredible experiences, having traveled together, seen concerts, eaten gourmet meals, had dance parties with friends and, most of the time, by ourselves. We have had highs and we have had lows, but we have always had each other.
10 years ago when I first introduced you to this book and knew that I wanted to have a family with you I made a promise to you, and it is one that still stands.
I’ll like you for always.
And today, and always,