I don’t know how to start this letter. I thought about using some sappy music line about you lift me up to soar or fly or generally be airborne. Like one of the lines from this song:
Except I know that’s not exactly your music preference, and I didn’t actually realize till just now that she’s singing to her sister, not a man. Oops. Moving on…
Even though it’s not our anniversary or Valentine’s day or some super romantic day like Superbowl Sunday, I’ve been thinking about you a lot. I’ve been thinking about the ways you constantly give. How you clearly don’t keep track of whose turn it is to pick a movie on date night, since by my count I’ve picked the last 38 out of 40. How after I talked to my mom on the phone that one day and had the sudden urge to plan a trip and cart the kids hundreds of miles to see them, you asked, “When would you want to go?”, instead of “Why would we spend money on that?” How you give me the gift of your honesty when I need to be sharpened or I’m being selfish. (Not to say that happens frequently, or anything. Ahem.) How when I get a little too excited after watching a romantic comedy, you humor me by dancing across our sexy toy strewn living room floor.
I watch you give yourself to the kids too, when it’s not always convenient or easy. You read and play video games and sit on the floor to play and they know your love is faithful and ever-present. They are so excited for you to return home each night- and if you ever think you’re not enough, I hope their excited little faces make you think twice.
But what I’m most grateful for today is the way you’ve loved me in my growing up. In my still becoming who I am. In my figuring my stuff out. Man, we were babies when we got married. At 21 how could I possibly have known all that would happen? That I’d be diagnosed with type-1 diabetes. That we’d end up adopting. That it would take me till I was nearly 30 to realize and own my crazy God dreams.
Don’t you dare say it, we’re both aware that most of who I am is crazy.
Thank you for loving me not just for who I was when we met, but for loving me right into now. For loving who I may become. For loving me through a chronic condition that is difficult and sometimes makes me play the victim. For loving me when I’ve made selfish choices seeking to find myself, and for supporting me when I finally found a passion that I couldn’t seem to breath without. Thank you for loving me in all the messes and “middles” of the story when I’ve bitten off more than I could chew and ran crying to you to talk me off a ledge and encourage me to get back out there.
Thank you for listening and listening and more listening. And for those precious words of wisdom that you somehow seem to store up for just the right moment. And for making me laugh, because no one can do that quite like you. (Which is saying something because you’ve got some tough competition with my sister.)
And it goes without saying, but thank you for every single dish you’ve ever washed, because nothing says, “I love you” like a clean dish. Or a coffee. Eh, it’s a toss up.
Anyway, in a world where it’s easier to take than give and to criticize than encourage, I just want to say thank you for choosing to give and encourage. You’re my wind and my joy and my better half and all that jazz. I’m probably missing something super corny but important, so hopefully this picture just summarizes all my sentiments.
I love you.