Bliss

Today marks 14 years (married, anyway!) with my favorite person.

IMG_0055

In actuality, we go back pretty far. Wanna see just HOW far?

Yep.

Yep.

Whoa.

Prom.

Prom.

Here’s the thing about marriage: it is a series of choices, even after you’ve made The Big Choice to marry one another. Each day I choose to stay…even though I confess to the occasional fantasy of running off to the sea. But that is really more about the state of my house (messy, loud, chaotic as it is) than the state of my marriage. In fact, it’s this guy who keeps me keepin’ on.

Besties.

Besties.

Every day I make a choice to talk it through or to get angry when miscommunications arise. I make a choice to reach out or to burrow into solitude. I make a choice to laugh or yell in exasperation. And Joe, being who he is, can almost always inspire me to align myself with joy, with connection, with growth, with doing the brave thing. I am not perfect, and I certainly have my days where I do not choose wisely, but I know I’m so much better, and stronger, for the way we work together in this life we’ve wrought.

Home Sweet Home.

Home Sweet Home.

And that includes these guys. Oh LORD, these guys.

I...don't even know. But you can't deny they belong to us.

I…don’t even know. But you can’t deny they belong to us.

I know I’m lucky. I sometimes marvel that he chooses me, again and again everyday, in the same way I choose him. I sometimes imagine people meeting us for the first time and wondering what brought us together, because we are so different. But it’s the old story of yin and yang, making that strong circle together. He unloads the dishwasher and I load it. I soothe a squirrely six-year-old to sleep and he coaches an eleven-year-old through algebra concepts I’d forgotten…THANK GOD Joe knows Algebra. And later, he teaches it to me so I can help in the future. And I fold his socks together, matching like articles that maybe don’t resemble us on the surface. When you get down to it, though, we have the same exact sense of humor. We both are passionate about learning. We both were raised with blue-collar values and work ethic. We both love travel, and can spend hours talking about nothing and everything on a long car trip.

Road trippin' in Puerto Rico...

Road trippin’ in Puerto Rico…

So I say that makes us both lucky, and SMART, for seeing one another and recognizing what wonderful things would come…just by making some choices. In the end, it’s not so difficult. I choo-choo-chooooooose him every day, and I couldn’t be more grateful.

I love you more today than yesterday.

I love you more today than yesterday.

Categories: Joe | 7 Comments

The Spark Plug at Six

Seth, you are a man of many names. Someone recently called you a “spark plug”, and that’s fitting. Pistol. Rascal. Piece of Work. Short Stack. Short Pump (said with a southern accent). Short…Fuse? Look, you’ve been kind of short.

You are also a man of many personalities. Sometimes we get whiplash trying to keep up with you. Let me demonstrate:

Swagger.

Swagger.

King of the Mountain. Well, YOUR mountain, anyway.

King of the Mountain. Well, YOUR mountain, anyway.

Full-on HAM.

Full-on HAM.

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Tiny AND sleepy!

Brother. Convincer. Exert-er-of-will.

Brother. Convincer. Exert-er-of-will.

Man of Mystery...

Interstate Man of Mystery…

I...DON'T...know. But it's my favorite.

I…don’t…KNOW! But it’s my favorite.

So, now you’re another year older and we’re another year wiser deafer grayer. You have changed so much over this year! As a newly-minted five-year-old, you’d just started preK, you’d just begun to fine-tune your sense of humor, and you’d only traveled in the Midwest (save for one plane flight in infancy). Now you are a very worldly six-year-old: preK graduate, road-tripper, entertainer, full-on geek, Kindergartner extraordinairre, confident and effervescent and eager and loving and able to push buttons when brawn won’t get you what you want. “I’ve got the brains to match the brawn” is one of your catchphrases, I kid you not. And you should know that it’s true. Your will is just as strong as any muscle in your body, including your wonderful heart. We have never once doubted your sentience, because you will never let us forget you’re down there. (Enough of the short jokes, though, because you grew several inches this year too and I’m almost convinced you might not end up with your dad’s family’s legs after all.)

You might have a Douglas-like stature, but you are actually a rabid Lincoln fan. For "realzies", as you are apt to say.

You might be short like Douglas, but you are actually a rabid Lincoln fan. “For realzies”, as you are apt to say.

In short (ha!) you are never, ever boring. You abhor all things “BO-RRRRRRRING!” so it only makes sense that you would place a high value on mixing it up, keeping us guessing. From exasperating to hilarious to sublime and all things in between, our lives would not be the same without you in it.

Padawan.

With your first crush…oh, you ardently loved her!

Pretty much your self-appointed job title.

Pretty much your self-appointed job title.

You at the sea. And the whole wide world before you.

You at the sea for the very first time. And the whole wide world before you.

It's hard walking the whole block on short legs without stopping to rest.

It’s hard walking the whole block on short legs without stopping to rest.

You love your sugar.

You love your sugar.

You spin me right round, baby, right round...

You spin me right round, baby, right round…

You are a little love, too, for all my talk of your swagger. At bedtime, you still want me lying right next to you, smothering me with hugs and kisses and nuzzles until you drift into sweet, soft slumber. You look like my baby, then, even though you aren’t a baby any longer. I always reassure you, though, when you get a bit insecure about growing up: you will always be MY baby, even if you aren’t a baby. That shouldn’t make sense to you but it does, because you have a certain preternatural wisdom about you, too. You still claim you’d like to marry me, and tell Joe (not Papa or Dad, but JOE, like he’s your rival) that you kiss me more than he does. We try to show you up by kissing in front of you more often, then, but you counter with more kisses of your own. I’ll admit it…I somehow am stuck between wanting you to move on to one of your school loves (which: they are many, and intense, as I would expect from you) and wanting you to love me forever so I don’t have to share. But your love is wide as the sky, and there is more than enough to go around this whole wide world. I hope you always bubble over with your friendliness and love. I hope you always bend the ear of a stranger, or show concern for someone in trouble. You notice, and you give so freely. It’s a wonder to behold you.

Sometimes your dad and I look at one another over your perfect little blond head and silently question: what hath we wrought? In a few words: Mayhem. Joy. Volume. Pop-culture sponge/parrot. Ladies’ man. Napoleon Bonaparte part deux. A walking, talking thrill ride.

Thanks for taking us with you. We never knew how much we wanted to be on the roller-coaster that is you, but here’s hoping you’ll keep us along for all the ups-and-downs.

Baby, you're a firework!

Baby, you’re a firework!

Happy birthday, Seth.

Categories: Mostly Me, Seth | 4 Comments