Thursday, December 21, 2006

Happy Birthday, Sweetheart

Dear Andy,

Today is your birthday. You are a certain number of years old - the perfect number of years for your age, I think. I'd like to tell you, in case you ever wonder, a little bit about why I love you so much.

I love you because you are so kind - to me, to Elise, to our families, to our friends, to perfect strangers. When you see a need that you can fill, you fill it. I love that you do kind things for people who will never know that it was you who helped them.

I love you because you do what is right even when it is inconvenient. You lead by example. You practice what you preach. You get frustrated when you see people you care about making poor moral decisions or compromising their integrity.

I love you because you have a most amazing sense of humor. It encompasses everything from random quirkiness to subtle satire. Even after four years of marriage, I still can't always tell when you're joking - you can keep a straight face through anything. Then you flash that quick, sly smile to let me know that you are joking, and just as fast as it appeared, it vanishes, so the rest of the world still doesn't know.

I love you because you are a problem solver. You don't give up. This goes along with the way that you fill needs when you see them. Whether the problem is intellectual, physical, moral, etc., once you see that there is a problem, you work on it until it is solved.

I love you because miscommunication drives you nuts. Crossed wires, misplaced blame, misunderstandings, mistaken identities - you want to give everyone a bird's eye view of the situation, whether in real life or on the screen.

I love you because when a transformer blows in the middle of the night, you explain to me exactly what happened, why it happened, and how it will affect us - even though my brain can barely recognize the sounds coming from your mouth as words, much less comprehend what they mean when strung together.

I love you because you get up with Elise every single morning. Other mothers must despise me. You let me sleep until I am rested every day.

I love you because you provide for us. We have never gone without anything that we need. At the same time, you are constantly looking for new opportunities in your own education and career. I know that you will always put the well-being of our family first, and within that parameter, you will always challenge yourself.

I love you because you have kept your promise to cherish me.

I love you because you offered to share your ChexMix with me.

I love you because you are kind to my family.

I love you because you will talk to telemarketers for me.

I love you because you will check on strange noises in the night.

I love you because you will admire the work that I do, and you will offer suggestions, showing me that you are actually thinking about what I'm showing you, not just feigning interest.

I love you because you want to give me my Christmas presents now.

I love you because you made dozens of balloon flowers.

But take all of this away, and I will still love you. These things are symptoms, outward indications of the man that you truly are. You truly are made in God's image, in the very likeness of God. I am so grateful to have you. You are an amazing blessing to me.

I am so proud of you, and I love you very much.

Love always,

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