Today my babies’ dadda is 37 and almost middle-aged! We’ve been married since our early twenties and I’m so grateful for the life we’ve built together. If I were to pen an open love letter, at the risk of sounding cheesy, I would write that you are the perfect husband and life mate for me. Neither of us is perfect, but we’re better when we’re together, and were absolutely meant to be. I hate that any words I come up with are clichés that all wives say to their husbands on their birthdays — you’re my best friend, we’re soulmates, I’m so lucky to have you in my life, etc. — but those clichés are nevertheless so true. I can tell that my happiness is the priority of your life because I make certain to let you know if I am, and therefore you are, ever unhappy, and you always try your best to remedy it. You’re consistently kind towards me, and accommodating to the point of being indulgent. When I got it into my head that I wanted to live in a third world country for a year, you obliged. I like to take credit for having the good sense to marry you as early as I did, but the truth is that when we started dating, I had such a powerful, visceral attraction to you that I couldn’t help myself. In other words, I was so hot for you that I would have married you even if you hadn’t turned out to be a good person. I’m just lucky that you turned out to be more than I could have asked or hoped for. You’re the only person in the world that I never tire of, never need to escape from. I could spend every second of my life in the same room with you and be perfectly content. You’re like a drug addiction; in the beginning you made me euphoric and now I need you just to feel normal.
Even though it’s universally acknowledged that I’m the better looking half, you compensate for your deficiencies in so many other ways. So what if you have bad breath or sneeze too much or if hair grows in absurd parts of your face, ears, and body. You take care of our home, our children, and me. I have an enhanced appreciation of you after observing how unhelpful husbands, and men generally, in VN are. When I was consumed with work, you took care of everything else. As overwhelmed as I sometimes felt, I never felt like I was doing everything by myself. You always asked if there was anything you could do to ease my stress, my anxiety, my unhappiness. We’ve fought, sometimes intensely, over division of labor and sleep, but not because someone wasn’t pulling their fair share. If you ever feel unappreciated, that I take the things you do for granted, or that I don’t notice, please know that I do notice and I’m very grateful, even if I don’t express my gratitude as much as I should. I know that I don’t have the faintest idea how to operate the pool equipment or maintain the pool. That I don’t pay bills or dust or pull weeds. That I don’t know how much diapers should cost or how to load or operate the dishwasher. That if I had to mop the hardwood floors you installed in our home I wouldn’t know where to begin because I’ve never done it before, just like I’ve never taken out the trash or made coffee or gotten an oil change for my car. That you know and do all these things so I don’t have to. And that most people would probably be shocked at all you do, without being asked, and might wonder why I’m admitting how apparently useless and utterly devoid of domestic prowess I am. I’m admitting all these things because you deserve recognition for being the wonderfully amazing person that you are, and I want to thank you and remind you, in case it’s not obvious, how very deeply loved and appreciated you are.