(Actually the title should truly be “Birthday Man”, but I’m a sucker for alliteration…)
Today, my beloved husband turns 40. For him, it’s just a birthday, a number with no special meaning and for myself I doubt that there will be any major changes in his demeanor after he officially enters his fifth decade on the earth.
However, it is a time to reflect upon and a celebrate a life; the life of the person I love most in this world. Rather than going with a pithy list of 40 things that I love about my husband (eye roll please!), I’m just going to elaborate on a few of his best qualities and wish him happy birthday. One of the pitfalls of marriage is that at some point you begin to take for granted the person next to you, and forget to celebrate what made you fall in-love with them in the first place; I try not to do this, but it’s nice to have a birthday to help me remember.
1. Mike has the ability to take on a new hobby/sport/whatever and master it quickly and do it well. He will stick with something, learn it through-and-through until he becomes an expert at it, in a manner that is incredibly admirable. It serves him well both at work and in life and I am always interested to learn what new task Mike will take on for himself.
2. Mike is a great dad – even though, sadly, his children sometimes do not appreciate how great of a dad he really is to them. Mike deals almost every day with Anna and Henry sometimes not even acknowledging him when he comes home from work and does so with grace. He loves them just the same, even when they protest about him putting him down for bedtime instead of me, or even when they shy away from his affection. It’s a terrible consequence of my being at home with them all day while he is away at work, that they attach to me and disregard him at times. It truly breaks my heart, but Mike deals with it all and tries to spend quality/special time with the kids whenever he can. When he is greeted warmly – a rare occasion – but it happened today – the light in his eyes is one that reflects how much he does love being a dad. Here is a picture of Mike and Anna a few weekends ago when he took her to the “Daddy/Daughter Sweetheart Ball” put on by our homeowner’s association (they both had a great time):
3. Mike is also a great husband and my best friend. He helps me whenever he can, tries as often as he can to give me breaks, encourages me to get out, get some time to myself or with friends, but also likes to spend time with me. We can still make each other laugh (he makes me laugh more often that I make him laugh, but I get a good eye roll every-once-in-a-while) and I am still learning things about him. I have no doubt that in another 40 years I will still find things about him that I did not know, that amaze me and that make me love him more.
A long time ago, my sister advised me that in my search for a boyfriend/husband/mate, that I should make a list of those qualities that I wanted (or did not want) in that person. I have the notebook that I wrote that long list in still, and every-once-in-a-while I find it and note with glee that Mike has nothing on my “do not want” list, and everything on my “want” list, except one: the “watches old movies” line item. It always amazes me that Mike is my list to a tee (and the one list item he’s not is not in any way important). I am so glad that for almost 10 years Mike has made me part of his life; I am truly blessed to have him in mine.
Tonight, we celebrate his birthday with a small group of family and friends eating Mike’s favorite meal: spaghetti with tomato sauce and Italian sausage, garlic bread, salad and a carrot cake. Almost the entire meal will be made from scratch (a goal of mine and Mike’s): I have already made the sauce, Mike has made the sausage and the croutons for the salad (from my homemade bread leftovers), our friend Chris will be making the pasta and I will spend the morning making the bread for the garlic bread and the carrot cake (and of course Mike will provide homebrewed beer for those who imbibe). All-in-all it will be a wonderful, quiet celebration for a great man who is loved by many and cherished by his family. Happy Birthday Mike!
P.S. – I posted this the evening before Mike’s birthday and went off to bed snuggling with my hubby. I awoke in the night to discover that Mike was the latest in our house to be suffering from a stomach virus. He spent the night not sleeping and far too much time in the bathroom. As I write this, he is spending his birthday in bed, sick and in no shape for a celebration dinner with friends. Here’s hoping he feels better soon!