The best gift I ever gave my kids didn’t come from Amazon or Toys R Us. It didn’t require batteries, make a ton of noises, or have flashing lights. Their friends don’t envy it, and my kids actually didn’t even ask for it. They had no input at all to tell you the truth, but they adore it more than anything else in the world.
It came fully assembled and could never be replaced. It was their dad.
I don’t usually get weepy or emotional on this blog (for fear of boring you or embarrassing myself), but I recently saw this video, and I knew I wanted to acknowledge my husband. Right before Valentine’s Day seemed like the perfect time. (Warning: This video turned my into a puddle.)
To tell you the truth, it’s only been as my husband and I have gone through the ups and downs of marriage and parenthood that I’ve realized what a great choice I made almost seven years ago. I was pretty sure I was making a good choice as I walked down the aisle, but since the future is a big unknown, we never really know for sure.
Time changes people, as it should, but I wondered would we grow together? Would he love me when I was a sleep deprived monster who hadn’t showered in days? Would he support and encourage me through my various wacky ideas and dreams? Yes, yes, and yes.
My husband’s kindness and maturity surprises me again and again, and I can say with certainty that I definitely married up. He’s my biggest supporter and my best friend.
To tell you the truth, this year has been kind of surreal. February 9th was an anniversary of a big event but not of our wedding. It marked 27 years since my father died. After almost three decades, I’ve gotten used to him not being around, but this year was different. My husband, daughter, and I are all the exact ages that my parents and I were when he passed. I was 5, my daughter’s age, my dad was my husband’s age, 39, and my mom was mine, 32.
Many times over the last year I’ve wondered what I would do in that situation, and I really don’t know how I would cope as a single parent. Most days I can barely make it to 5pm when my husband returns home from work. He’s walked in, on more than one occasion, to a poopy baby and a disheveled wife sprinting towards the peace and quite of a warm shower… which rarely stays peaceful or quiet for long. We have four kids, afterall.
I don’t talk much about losing my dad, and I don’t bring it up today for sympathy. The last thing I’d ever want is for someone to think I’m exploiting his death for attention. (The idea of that turns my stomach.) I talk about it so rarely that I’ve actually been friends with people for years before they even find out he’s gone, but I wanted to mention it today because, despite how painful that loss was and still is, I know some good has come of it. I think it made me prioritize and appreciate my husband even more.
Little moments like watching him wrestle with the kids on the floor or take our daughter to their first father-daughter dance this past weekend (picture below) constantly remind me that he, our marriage, and our family are the greatest gifts I could ever give to my children… whether they realize it right now or not.
So, without getting too sappy and emotional (too late?), I want to say Happy Valentine’s Day to my better half, my best friend, the best decision I ever made. I love you.
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