Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Happy 30th Joel (my best attempt at a mildly sentimental birthday post)

Today my husband turns 30.  And while I know he would die a little inside should I indulge my sentimental side, expressing my mushy feelings for all the world to see, I can't let this day pass without saying anything.

I knew from early on in our relationship, and even before, that Joel was special.  And not in a cheesy way, but in a very real and evident way.

He was one of those people who asked how you were and really cared about the answer.  He had this strange (and sometimes annoying) way of remaining completely non-judgemental.  No matter what the situation, or how it involved him or myself, he possessed the unique ability to see things from another perspective, and to truly understand.

Somehow that combination of qualities made him easy to be around.  It's kind of addicting, being with someone who thinks you're really cool, and interesting.  Though with time I realized it wasn't really me.  It's him.  He takes in people's lives and values and thoughts like stories in a book.  And after six years of marriage, I'm still addicted to his company (which inexplicably doesn't seem to thrill him as it did in those early days).  Because even while I insist he drives me crazy and complain almost incessantly about wet towels on the floor and things of the like, I would rather be with him, with our family, than anywhere else in the world.

And though I'm sure I lost my interest and most definitely my coolness over the years, he is more than a companion to me now. He stepped over that line almost four years ago with the birth of our first son.  Our lives turned upside down in an instant.  We ate when he slept, he ate when we slept, nothing seemed to work like it should.  And the sweet snuggly bundle of our imaginations transformed into something of a wild monster right before our eyes.  We fed, we changed, we rocked, we shushed... but sometimes the thing just went crazy.  And being our first child, we were terrified.  Okay, I was terrified.  But Joel held us together.  Completely took over when I froze, be it soothing a frantic child, scrounging food together and creating something delicious from it, or cleaning baby poop out of the bathtub (by far my most terrifying moment).

And while parenthood brings out the best and worst in us, Joel loves our kids.  And with all of his positive qualities, it is the thing I love most about him.  How he worries almost obsessively over Finny's broken collarbone, barely letting me touch my own child for fear of hurting him.  How the obvious highlight of his birthday was Aiden's prayer at dinner ("Thank you for Daddy's birthday.  Thank you for the food.  We love you Jesus.").  How I can say with confidence that he too would rather be with his family than anywhere else in the world.

So, at the risk of sounding mushy, I love you Joel.  Thank you for loving and taking care of us through this huge transition.  Happy 30th birthday!

(And just a side note, I will post soon about our vacation.  Just needed to take this little detour today!)

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