You just left yesterday for a ten day out of state work training and I miss you already. Before we got married, I used to wonder how it was possible to spend a lifetime with one person, the same person, without eventually growing ever so tired of that person. But then we got married, and it was harder than I thought but also way different than I thought, way better. Those first years were tough enough, as we faced head on our very dissimilar communication styles, and stumbled into parenting. There was much assuming on my part, and much wrestling with insecurity. I looked to you for affirmation and to coddle me emotionally, but you couldn’t.
This stung initially, until over time I came to understand that you had more confidence in me than I did. You drew from me grit and perseverance. As our shared familial responsibilities increased, we were both forced to step it up and take ownership of specific areas – areas that best suited our individual strengths. And those shared familial responsibilities bonded us one to another. Out of leaning heavily on each other to nurture our growing family physically, emotionally and spiritually, respect was born. In learning to serve one another, we got to know one another better – our marriage became the opposite of static. On Mother’s Day you hung a shelf for me and a rod in Ben’s closet. You didn’t announce this of course, I just discovered it as I went along and I felt so loved by you. I felt inspired to gift you back, by scratching your back, for example, when I first wake up in the morning, in those brief quiet minutes before we rush into our day.
Kindness begets kindness. Hard work begets hard work. Faith begets faith. We are separate but one.
Because of you, I can swing it here without you, although more chocolate will be eaten impulsively. You’ve encouraged me from the get go to be brave and independent. And also because of you – because you are funny, and calm, and sociable, and God-fearing, and beautiful; because you get us outside and don’t allow the children to speak rudely to me; because you balance me, and I still adore having your arms around me; because after nearly fifteen years of holy matrimony, you’ve really, really grown on me, I’ll be counting down the days til you come home.