Monday, June 20, 2011

a day late

Dear Courtney,

My favorite sound: listening to you and the girls laughing together.  Doesn't get better.
My favorite sight:  Seeing you cuddled up in bed with one of your girls, reading a bedtime story.
My favorite touch:  Your kiss on my cheek, hand tucked in mine.
My favorite guy:  C'mon, we both know that answer.

Eleven plus years ago, when we had our first baby,  I couldn't have imagined what we'd learn together.  I didn't know what an adventure we were beginning and how time and a family would make me love you even more.  I couldn't have guessed the strength you would bring to me on all my upside-down days.  I may have dreamed but couldn't have really understood how much I would come to admire and depend on your kindness and wisdom and how our friendship would carry us through. 

Heaven knows I didn't guess we'd have all these girls!  And you can bet I didn't know how much I would love seeing you be a dad.  I watched you in church yesterday wrestling little dresses and playing some little game you and Claire dreamed up.  I stood outside Emmy's bedroom door and couldn't get enough of her curled up on your chest as you read a favorite bedtime story. 
 I smiled last night as Claire climbed into bed to ask you a million questions just as you were trying so hard to go to sleep. 
I thought about the question that guy asked you at the gas station the other day, "What in the world do you do with girls?"  And you answered, "You pretend, A LOT."  I sometimes think about those long-ago days of football and wrestling, hunting and motorcycles.  I didn't know then how handy you'd become at tea parties and tutu's, and most especially how you'd make my heart go pitter-patter so much more when you had an armful of ribbons and lace.

Or how about after Claire was born?  All the nurses commented that after watching you witness all of the trauma of keeping her  alive, they now understood why you were the father of four girls!  You could handle the drama, they said.
We both know you have your share to handle. 
I always laugh when I see the look of complete bewilderment on your face in the midst of one of life's daily fall-aparts around here.  Like the bad-hair moment one of the girls was having the other day- you just looked at me and asked, "Was your life this hard growing up?"  I love that you don't get too worked up.  Typical of you, you shrug your shoulders, brush it off, and wait for the cloud to blow over (and then remind me that it's normal and I'm not really raising a bunch of monsters, after all).
I need that in you.

I never really had to share you before, so I didn't know how I'd come to live for our "hot dates", when I get to be your only girl.
Oh, and I can't wait to see you with a little boy on your knee.  I hope he looks just like you.

When we started all this, I guess I didn't know what to expect (other than a Happily-Ever-After, of course).

So glad for all the things I never knew I never knew. 
So glad for you.
Love, little ol' me.

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