Today, my beloved celebrates another trip around the sun, and I get to celebrate another year with him at the center of my universe.
My husband is one of those men. He is the kind of man that other men look to as an example of what a good man is.
His family is everything. I never question that the girls and I are his first priority. He’s always been a very hands-on, in the trenches father; he was never afraid of “breaking” our infants, he got (and still occasionally gets) down on the floor to play with the girls, he’s consented to having his hair braided and he’s orchestrated little-girl birthday parties. He doesn’t miss a concert or a play or a meet. He chaperones field trips and volunteers in the girls’ classrooms. The girls know that Daddy loves them.
I am grateful, every single day, that this man asked me to share his life. He demonstrates his love for me in many ways, not the least of which by being my unshakable foundation. He put me through college, he encourages me to pursue my interests, and he’s being an amazing support to me as I help my mother die. He’s taken up, without a word of complaint, all of the responsibilities we used to share. He doesn’t comment when I come home late. He comes home early to meet the girls off the bus. He makes dinner.
I get to laugh every single day – even on days when I don’t feel much like laughing. He’s got a perspective on things that clicks with me. We’ve been together for so long and have enough shared history that, sometimes, he doesn’t even have to actually say anything; often, all it takes is the raise of an eyebrow or the shrug of the shoulder to get me going.
He’s a consummate professional and takes pride in doing his job well. He sometimes finds this causes him trouble, especially when the people he works with want to get the product out the door now and he wants to get the product out the door right, but he insists that the work that he is responsible for is done correctly and well.
My husband is a good friend. He is thoughtful and loyal, he is considerate and easygoing, and he is respectful and generous. He doesn’t have many friends, but the ones he has are long-term and true.
Sometimes, I wonder how on earth I got lucky enough to get this man to fall in love with me. My life is what it is because he’s at the center of it, and I’m grateful, every single day, that I said yes.
Happy birthday, Mr. Chili. I love you.
Photo credit to Kizz, who came to Chez Chili and took some great photos of us last summer. Thank you, Honey!