When I was a little girl I dreamed of the family I would one day have. I think all kids do. What would my husband look like? How many kids would we have? Family vacations. Dinners. Wrestling matches. It knew it would rule. So when I got to thirty and was divorced and had a bum cervix (yeah, sorry about that overshare, but it's true), I saw my dream of having a family slipping away. And then you waltzed in. I remember seeing you for the first time and thinking "Yes! He looks normal!". You had this amazing toothy grin that made my heart skip. And you said things to me like "that's the greatest thing since sliced milk!" and "Don't hatch your chickens and eat them too" and I knew you were The One. The way you butcher metaphors made me love you. It's true. It also helped that you came to my house and made me roasted chicken, broccoli and garlic mashed potatoes on our second date. Because see, I love food. And you made me some crazy good food. Still do.
Remember on our first date when you leaned in for a kiss and I gave you that awkward ass out hug? Thanks for coming back after that. Because I really liked you. Remember when we'd get blitzed and gamble? That was so much fun. You taught me the ways of blackjack and I became pretty damn good at it. Split fours? Four times in the same hand? Oh yeah, that was the coolest. We partied like rock stars and kept right on falling in love. Remember when I told you that I had always wanted to go to the Mansfield Reformatory but no one ever followed through on going with me? You said you would take me and I was all, "yeah whatever" and you were all, "No, really! I'm gonna take you" and I was all, "Hmmm, yeah right". And a week later you took me there? And how we were that couple in line that everyone hates because we couldn't stop sucking face? Yep, that was us, babe. I think that was the clincher. And it was only our third date.
Then just two months in, I had a bad screen for cervical cancer. I had just beat it a few months before I met you and now it was possible that it was returning. I remember being so scared that you would bolt. Not wanting to stay with a chick with lady bits cancer. But instead, you packed me up and took me to Niagra Falls while we waited for the results. And you sat with me on that bench outside the casino as I called my doctor for them. And we both cried and got drunk celebrating that the results showed no return. But I knew that even if it had, you would have been there. I could feel it and I was no longer afraid. That right there was the day I decided that I was locking you down. That you were mine. That we really trully belonged together.
You are cool with me just being myself and I gotta tell you that it feels so good. You even let me be an irrational butthole sometimes and you don't judge me for it. You love me as is and that is a beautiful thing.
You showed me that it's ok to open your heart and be vulnerable. You showed me that even dudes cry at movies. You showed me that love is always growing and changing and that we have to spend time tending to it and cutting back the weeds. I was so tempted to put in a mixed metaphor here. Oh ok I will, you taught me that love is like a box of choclates, you have to stop and smell them sometimes. And take a few risks. I will never forget you drunkenly singing Better Together as we attempted to dance at our reception. All goofy feet and tipsy. You had that little walrus to give me. A teeny replica of the stuffed walruses that both of us had as kids. A teeny walrus for our future baby. Damn, that was sweet.
And then it gets even better.
There are three days that are burned into me forever. Three days that changed me. That changed you. Three days. The best three days of my life. The first is the day you made me your wife. And well, of coarse you know the other two...
It's crazy what happened to my love for you when I saw you looking at Mr. Pants for the first time. I saw in your eyes so much love mixed with a little fear. The fear that comes from wanting to do right by your baby. I know the look because I felt it too. And I need you to know, that you are doing right by him. And by Plum. I hope you see that when they smile at you. Because they always smile at you. They feel safe with you and loved by you. They trust you with their hearts. And so does their mama.
Happy Birthday, Daddy Pants. I have no idea how I came to deserve you. But damn, I am so pumped that I do. I love you.