Why are the most important things the hardest to express? I wish you could know all of the things I think and feel about you, yet words continually fail me. And then, even when the words come, the opportunity seems to pass me by. Life swirls around us, and we are caught in a perpetual whirlwind of obligations, responsibilities and problems. One whirlwind turns into another until years have gone by, and we can’t remember what it is we’ve been fighting for.
Before I miss any more opportunities, before you breathe one more breath without knowing how much you mean to me, before the busyness of our lives takes over the meaning, let me tell you who you are in my eyes.
You are the one. The one I dreamed of for years and years. The one I believed was out there even though every failure and disappointment tempted me to believe that it would never be. The one I hoped desperately to find, but worried I would never deserve.
From the moment we met, I’ve felt at home in your arms. You are gentle and kind, humble and unassuming, and you teach me more everyday about what it means to love someone unconditionally. You taught me how to have fun, let go and enjoy each moment.
You were there in my worst days. You’ve dried my tears and picked me up when I couldn’t go on. You’ve shown me the world and stood by me while I faced my fears. You were strong when I was weak. You never wavered in your devotion to me, even when things were hard.
And then, we embarked on the journey of our lives when we decided to make a family. You gave me the two best little people in the whole world, and there is no one who could ever be a better father to them than you are. The picture I will carry in my mind for the rest of my life is of you running around the backyard with our babies- teaching them to kick a soccer ball, climbing trees, catching butterflies, digging for worms and playing in the water hose. I will always remember the laughter. It’s the laughter of children who have been well loved.
Our little girl will know that she is worthy of a man’s respect because she has been loved and respected by her dad. She won’t be defined by what she looks like or others’ expectations of her because her dad has already told her that she can be and do anything she wants. She’ll believe it because you told her so, and for that I will never stop being grateful.
Our little boy will know that he is worthy just the way he is, not because of anything he has to achieve because you have shown him that he doesn’t have to do anything to earn your love. He’ll know that it’s okay for men to love deeply, because you’ve showered him with kisses and hugs. He will have a model in you to guide him through the uncertainties of manhood. I couldn’t be more proud of the example you’ve already set for him.
I’m grateful for the little things, too. I appreciate when you work so hard to make it home everyday by 5:30 just because I’ve asked you to. I know that you appreciate me and the work that I do for our children and our family. You’ve never once made me feel that my best isn’t good enough for our family, and you dig me out of that trap when I get myself there. You’ve loved me the same through all of the physical changes that have come with the birth of two babies. You’ve been a constant source of encouragement, and sometimes when I get down, I simply have to take a look at myself through your eyes.
Over our decade together, you’ve learned that washing dishes is the quickest way to my heart, that chocolatey-cakey things must find their way to me around 10 pm, and that mid-afternoon naps make life more livable. You’ve learned to love me the way I always dreamed of being loved.
I want you to know that I love you for exactly who you are at this very moment. I love you fiercely, honestly and without reservation. There isn’t anything you could do or not do that would change that. I admire and respect the man you are and the one you will become. And, I look forward to the next chapter of our crazy, wonderful journey together. I may not know what life will bring, but knowing it’s with you makes all the difference.