An Open Letter to my Birthday Boy

on 06 February 2010

Dear Chris,

30 years ago today you were born.

I don't know much about that since I was rather North of you and attending pre-school.  But I'm here today to tell you how grateful I am that you were born.  I'm grateful that your mother is stubborn and didn't listen when the doctors told her not to have any more kids.  She wanted you and she was having you and there was just no talking to her.  Or so I'm assuming since, as you know, I wasn't there.  I'm also grateful that she had you and that she and your dad raised you.  They are very different, those parents of yours, but I'm profoundly grateful for their differences because I think it's those differences that have helped to make you the man that you are.

I'm grateful that your brothers and sister didn't manage to kill you with their various mischief and accidents growing up.  I'm especially grateful for the role that modern medicine played in the survival of your childhood.

I'm grateful that you and Jeff and Pavel didn't manage to kill yourselves with your own various mischief and accidents throughout your adolescence.  You've told me stories and frankly, you were reckless and foolish but I'm grateful you got it out of your system then rather than now.  And I think you learned a lot and that it makes you the funner parent in our household. 

I'm grateful for your dedication, education and work ethic.  You come home, from work or from classes and are absolutely certain that you're going to be fired or failed.  And yet.  You get up every morning, you pull your stuff together and get to work.  When I think that my day is hard, when I get tired and frustrated, I think of you and your determination and I get my stuff together and get to work.  You are one of the smartest people I know, you are complicated and interesting and half the time I don't know if I'm coming or going with you.  But I'm grateful for it.  Your complexities make living with you interesting and unpredictable.

You are your own man.  And there aren't a lot of women who would be grateful for that, but I am.  You know who you are and you refuse to be manipulated into anything.  I love that about you.  It sometimes makes it difficult to be married to you, you're hard to persuade, hard to win over, hard to negotiate and compromise with, but I wouldn't have it any other way.

I'm grateful for how you Father the Boy.  I love to see him dance when you walk through the door, it is usually the highest point of my day, it cracks me up.  And I love to see you crack up laughing at him, whatever he happens to be doing.  It is the pleasure that you and he take in one another that makes me the happiest.

I want you to know what a gift you are in my life.  You were never expected, and so every day with you is a gift.  I love the long talks, I love hearing about your day because it's so foreign from everything that I know that it sounds almost exotic.  I can't ever thank you properly for all that you have done and all that you continue to do for me every day.  I'm starting to understand why people describe their husband or wife as their better half.  You make me more and better than I am without you.

Happy 30th Birthday, Love.  3 decades in 2 centuries.  It's not a bad beginning.

Tons and Tonnes,


Kim B said...

Happy Birthday Chris. This one is easy for me to remember since my daughter was born on the same day 30 years ago, too!

Thirty years goes sooooo fast!

SH said...

That was beautiful! Man, I miss you guys. Happy Birthday, Chris!

Whimsy said...

Happy birthday, Chris!

30 couldn't happen to a better guy.