Happy birthday, my sweetheart.
You turn 30 today, and we always joke thirty is such a big, grown-up age – and yet, to me, you look almost the exact same as you did when we met when you were 23 and I was 22. Your hair is longer, your beard is fuller. Maybe every so often, we spot one little grey hair in your beard – but aside from that, you are still just the same.
And you’re taking this birthday in stride, calm and cheerful like you are about almost every single thing. We’ve talked for a few years now how our thirties will kind of seem like a relief. The twenties are such a wild period of figuring yourself out, figuring out how being an adult works, figuring out that no matter how much being an adult can suck, you can’t stop the ride and get off the train. I don’t think either of us expect our thirties to be a breeze and a piece of cake ALL of the time – but we’ve started to figure things out. We’ve had some practice, in our twenties, and we’ve learned how to (generally) make good decisions, stand our ground when we need to. Stand by each other, always.
But I wanted this to be a big birthday for you, I wanted to make a fuss. I know you – you would hardly ever ask for anything, ever. You are so content with simple pleasures and small favors, you don’t crave drama or attention, you are so humble and content. Those are just some of the many things I love about you – how down to earth you are, how happy you are with just your few key pleasures.
But you are a man who deserves to know how wonderful you are. You deserve to know what a great man you have become, and will continue to become. Not just on your birthday, but every day. I’ve always said, I can’t wait to see the man you will become, and that’s so true. In the almost seven years we’ve been together, I knew you first as a funny, charming, thoughtful boy, and have watched you, over time, grow into an even funnier, even more thoughtful, even more generous and loving man.
You are steady and strong and loving and gentle. You are a good boss to your employees, you take care of them, you cheer them up and try and teach them to be better. You’re such a good friend, you bring so much laughter to everyone, you care so deeply about our friends’ ups and downs. You are so supportive of them, even if your support is just taking care of me taking care of them.
You’re such a good husband. Such. You have always been, and yet, in the last few months, since we found out I was pregnant, you have stepped it up even more. I never have to ask twice for anything, you help me around the house when I’m too exhausted to do as much as I usually do. You’ve never once complained about being asked to get me more water or let me hog the footstool or get me my prenatal vitamin when I’ve fallen into bed without taking it first.
And Lord, besides all the taking care of me – you make me laugh so much. So much, all the time. If left alone together, on a car ride or sitting outside, wherever we are – we are laughing, and that makes me so happy. With no one else can I be as goofy and carefree as I am with you. I love it when I make you laugh until you lose it, when I genuinely tickle you and you have to stop and cover your face with your hand until you recover. I love how happy we are, when left to our own devices. We are so joyful, and we are so joyful at being together.
And you are going to be such a good father. I have no doubt on that. The way you would cup my belly at night, early on, thinking good thoughts for the baby, and then whisper I love you to it – that gave me so much confidence and hope. I was so scared and unsure about what was happening inside of me, at first – and you reassured me at every turn. You have been so confident and so reassuring, and best of all – so loving, so excited. The way your eyes light up sometimes, the way you know talk to the baby for a good few minutes now, telling her (WE KNOW IT’S A HER NOW!) to grow big and strong, but not too big, don’t hurt Mama, just be healthy – I love you so much. You care about her so much already, before we even knew she was a she, before we’ve really even met her. You are so gentle and kind and supportive and patient with me – I know you will be a thousand times more with our child.
It’s your birthday, and you’re thirty, and you are just doing absolutely fabulous. You really are. You have grown so much in your twenties, and I know you will continue to grow and change for the better. I am so honored to be your wife, so honored that you picked me to focus your love and attention on it. I never take that for granted – every day, I am so aware of how much you love me, and how much I love you – and God, it sounds like such a cliché, but our love grows each and every day. Noticeably, palpably. It is one of the greatest gifts I have ever been given, in my entire life, and I’m so grateful I get so spend every other birthday with you, that we get to celebrate for years and years to come.