A cause for celebration.

Chris, the love of my life, turns 37 today.

At the risk of getting all sappy, I've forced myself to constrain the waxing on of my darling husband's spectacular attributes to a list of ten:

1. He gets up with the kids twice as much as I do. Maybe even three times.

2. For our 5th wedding anniversary, he made me a photo collage that spelled out our anniversary date, "MAY 18TH" using photographs representing some of the "firsts" in our past together: the first place we kissed, the location of our first date, the screen door of our first house.

3. He is laugh out loud funny and it's rarely at anyone's expense.

4. He is even nice to telephone solicitors and customer help operators. "You have a nice day too, OK, thanks a lot for calling, bye." I don't give my mom the kind of treatment he gives people calling to see if we want to refinance.

5. When I say "I'll be with you shortly" I can count on him to say "Don't call me Shortly" with a laugh. When I say, in the middle of unpacking groceries or opening mail, "Go ahead honey" he'll say, chuckling, "You don't have to call me Goat Head." There's something so comforting, not to mention sexy, about a man secure enough to make bad jokes and make them repeatedly, knowing all the while how horrible they are. You gotta love that. At least I do.

6. When asked by his four year old daughter what the best part of his birthday celebration was today, he told her it was watching her go for a motorcycle ride with her uncle. Because she was so happy. Because she discovered something new. Because she was brave.

7. When he brushes the kids' teeth at bedtime, he calls it like he's an announcer at the Olympics or at a horse race. Big, deep voice, hands cupped around his mouth: "Will he do it, this time ladies and gentlemen? Will he brush the BEST EVER? Oh, he's coming in fast, it's a longshot, but I THINK HE'S GOING TO DO IT!!! And the crowd goes wild!! AAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHH!"

8. He calls for no reason every single day. From wherever he is, even if it's just down at the market. And when I stop and think about it, I realize that since the very first time I heard the sound of his voice, it's always felt like coming home.

9. He lets me pick the movie, the side of the bed and the first slice of anything. But he makes sure he gets what he needs too.

10. On our third date, I felt so comfortable, so more at ease than I had with anyone before, I thought: this couldn't possibly be real romance - and promptly told him so. At which point he said: no problem, that was cool. Unmoved and unfazed, he went on to talk about other things. I immediately understood that my interest or lack thereof had no bearing on the fact that he was so perfectly, irresistibly OK with himself.

That was the point I realized I wanted to jump across the table and kiss him.

Nine years later, I still want to. Nine years later I am still awed by being with someone so kind, so good, so obviously further along the number of lives completed than I. For everything I am thankful for in this life, for every amazing gift I've been given, Christopher has been the gift of all gifts.

Happy birthday baby.

All my love,


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