To the love of my life for the last “almost 30” years:
Happiest Father’s Day to you, J.
Every year when I sit down to write this, I think two things: One, how has another year come and gone, wasn’t I just here, reflecting on all of life’s greatest joys? And two, how is it that I’m lucky enough to get to love you? To know you, to learn from you, to watch you parent and Father Eli so effortlessly, and to live with such purpose?
It’s such a privilege of mine to get to live side by side you, and to have a front row seat in seeing how our son is growing up to be such an amazing young man. It’s a daily thing to see him learning to live with integrity, work with intention, and find joy in the mundane. And seeing how you love me? He’s got that down too. ♥
Every week when we go to the grocery store, Eli insists on ordering from the meat counter on his own (which undoubtedly makes it so we can’t ever escape without compliments about his demeanor, his looks, and his maturity). He asks to complete the self checkout on his own (which he does so well!) and then helps us load the groceries into the car. (Well, 7 out of 10 times he does the last one. Ha!)
At home, he schedules out his time so he can serve by unloading the dishwasher, folding the laundry, keeping his room clean, and packing his lunches for an entire week in one sitting. You and I have also commented more than once that Eli can make the most decadent breakfasts that rival anything either of us ever had before we were adults. But really, how is he so amazing?
At Starbucks, when sometimes they charge us for his “Whippy,” he offers to pay for it himself, as he knows it’s such a special treat, that isn’t a necessity each day. What a treasure it is to understand the value of life’s simple, but luxurious joys.
There’s a song Eli sings every once in a while in the car (the first time, I laughed so hard because I had never heard it) that goes: “Hot Wife, Good Life! Good, good Wife, Great Life! Great Life, Hot Wife.” After that first time, I looked at your face. And it was obviously an original of yours he’d heard from you more than once…
When I was Eli’s age, I met you. Only those who truly know me, and knew me then, know that I’d met my soul mate that year. God knew too. I’ve not taken for granted what a gift our relationship has been, how easy our marriage is, and how loving you just doesn’t take effort. Perhaps all of this isn’t what society has told us can be true, but it’s all I’ve known with you. And what both Eli and I are endlessly grateful for. This smattering of photos is only the teensiest bit of proof of a life lived in Happiness–all because of you.