I just wanted to take a moment and tell you how grateful I am. After nearly 275 hours of work this month, you're in the homestretch of the busiest time of your year. Congratulations.
Thank you for being the man of God who provides for and leads our family. 1 Peter 4:10 tells us, "Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms." You’ve had down moments, but you’ve never wavered in your efforts for making your vision a reality on the field and using the gifts and promises God has given you the way He intended.
Thank you for teaching me that commitment to your job meant me learning to respect what it takes to perform your best at work and provide for us. Doing this while simultaneously not making your job and your family rivals in a competition for your affections and attention is no easy task. You make it look effortless.
Thank you for understanding it takes time to get all this. The schedule, the time away from home, modifying our parenting, social lives, hopes and dreams and everything in between—there were many lessons and routines that weren’t easy to come by. Thanks for being patient until I finally understood it’s not you, it’s the moment. We’ve not been perfect in our patience during this journey, but we’ve evolved.
Now that we’re working our way through my fifth season, it’s made me ever more thankful for the man who brought me this far. Thank you for being my hero, after all these years you still rescue us when we need it most and are always the best friend and confidant I turn to when the going gets rough. You handle all the biggest challenges with a quiet strength, not always letting others know the stresses you’re suffering within.
Thank you for being such a fan of your students. You say it often: “I think of them as if they were my own.” I’m witness to how much you mean that. I love that when one of them is in need, or shows you they want to succeed, you’re there to support their efforts. From day one, those 300 kids were a priority. I love getting to be a part of that emotion, knowing that I can help however I can, to watch these kids turn into adults. It’s been such an amazing journey. (While I’m at it, thanks for not making me feel like a sap when I tear up at all the graduations and senior stuff; it’s hard to watch them leave!)
There are times you drive me crazy, but you always strive to act and express yourself with good intention. I don’t always understand the why, and you’ve taught me that I don’t always need to. I know you’re trying the best you can to make it easiest on all parties involved, even if it means adding more struggle to your own plate. Fights happen, let’s not pretend they don’t, but we’re learning how passionate we are about these conflicts, and we’re learning how to diffuse quickly—recognizing that each of us is human, and we both came to this point wanting the best for our family.
Thank you for loving me and then learning to love me more; or sticking in and weathering the storm as we learn what this life means for us and our family. You always told me that staying a bachelor could have been easier, but you didn’t take that route, and you’re more than okay with that. It’s been a bumpy road learning how to interpret our life and the stages it’s taken on—newlyweds, pregnancy, parenthood—but we’ve always said that we find home in each other, and we’ll be a family wherever that takes place.
Finally, if I can borrow a bit from Pablo Neruda that you used in your wedding vows, …I love you straightforwardly, without complexities or pride; so I love you because I know no other way. I can imagine life another way, but I choose every.single.day not to. I don’t want something different. I want the life you have gifted me with. The one with all the things. Thank you.
Too, always always.