Happy 33rd Birthday, Dear K.
It is now officially 12:00am on January 19 and I just whispered “Happy Birthday” to you, as I watch you sleep beside me.
(I realize that I am currently breaking our electronics curfew, but I am hopeful to earn back my privileges with copious amounts of cake.)
Also, I literally just spent 10 minutes trying to figure out how much of your life we have now spent together. I still can’t figure out how to do it. It is much easier to figure it out with me; We started dating when I was 20 and I am about to turn 30, so that means that I have spent 1/3 of my life with you. But you have lived 3 1/3 years longer than I have, so I guess it’s some fraction slightly smaller (or actually the denominator would be a larger number, right?). I just really hurt my brain. And I still don’t have the answer.
that was quite the silly way to start a post that is bound to be sentimental; How could it not be? What we have endured since your last birthday has been staggering. Since your last birthday we have had some of the worst times of our entire lives. We hit the lowest lows, as individuals and as a couple. But today, on your birthday, I can say that we are better than we have ever ever been before. Because we finally figured it out; the secret has been this: You understand me now, and have let me be more me, I understand you, and have let you be more you, and we have found a new definition for “us”.
But let us move on to you. When we got engaged, your grandmother told me that you were a “true blue boy”. That you are, and so much else. You are good. You are patient. You are compassionate. You are quirky. You are talented. You are kind. You are silly. You are generous. You are selfless. You are forgiving. You are caring. You are dedicated. You are hardworking. You are creative. You are ours.
This afternoon, on our way home from our quick shop, we heard The Eagles “Take it to the Limit” on the radio. You were telling me about how the song caused so much conflict within the band that it forced them to break up, but then you started talking about our story with that song.
You laughed as you remembered how I “used to force us waltz together on the third floor of the townhouse to this song.”
When I think back to those old days (which must be very old, considering we moved in together within 7 months of starting to date and were engaged within 8) I am overcome by memories of those first days and weeks and months. We talk not infrequently about many memories (like how you told me, very early one morning, very early into our relationship, that you had a wish for the future to have and raise real miniaturized jungle animals) but there are others that are just coming back to me now. And I think I am going to tell you, but not the world. I tell the world plenty. (Smiley face emoji. I don’t have emojis.)
In thinking about trying how to wish you a happy birthday, I wanted to express how grateful I am for you.
I wanted to try to explain that thing that has no words.
There is a montage of memories playing through my head right now, and I am actually smiling, in bed, next to you, as you sleep. You do not know that it is your birthday (nor do you know that I am breaking curfew, eek!) but I can’t help it.
Just the way that two minutes after you dropped me off from our first date I send you a mobile AIM message (Right?! Remember those?!) saying “You’re amazing.” I couldn’t help it.
And I still can’t help it.
And here is why:
It was almost two hours ago when we decided to go to sleep. We have some very soft, plush new bedding and we talked for awhile and listened to music and you read a book on Taoism as I researched “small den room layout” and then, as we do every night, you put on our special sleep track, which lulls us both into slumber. But I was antsy and stubborn so as you shut off your light and closed your eyes, I took my iPad and headphones so that I could watch tonight’s episode of Girls on HBO Go.
And halfway through the episode (an episode that
1. actually made me laugh out loud, which is rare
2. almost led me to email my friends about my upcoming birthday bash (it’s still months away, but I gave them a year to save the date) and say, “Do you know the party scene from the latest Girls? You know how Hannah and Elijah were dancing like crazy maniacs to Lil Jon and the East Side Boyz “Get Low”? That’s what I want my birthday to be like. But then I thought better of it.)
Sneaky blogger trick: you can avoid sending said emails by just blogging about them. Wink emoji.
I noticed that you fell asleep holding my hand. And when I tried to untangle our fingers, I couldn’t. Try as I did, I couldn’t get your fingers to separate from mine, as they were woven together, your hand heavy with sleep on mine.
And that’s us.
You can’t untangle us.
Sometimes we stretch our rope, sometimes it gets kinked, but we never come undone.
And that is because tying myself to you is the best thing that I have ever done.
You have showered me with support, shown me incredible courage, allowed me to grow into the woman I want to be, and, most of all, you gave me my children. Our children. Half you, Half me.
You deserve happiness always, K, but today especially. Today (after I finally go to sleep!) we are going to eat cake for breakfast. Today I am going to take the kids so that you can go bouldering. Today we are going to order pizza and give you gifts and dance to your songs.
And I hope that today is the worst day of your year, as I pray that it only gets better from here.
I think back to one of my favorite songs and realize that the words could not be more perfect:
The night we met I knew I needed you so
And if I had the chance I’d never let you go
Happy, happy day, to the best man I know. I love you.