Tuesday, August 13, 2013

It's all about perspective

Happy birthday, Husband. And don't fret -- you're not old.

I mean, you're 37 now, and you might think that seems old, considering that 40 is only three years away. And yeah, your dad is probably wondering how in the world he has a 37-year-old son, when he fondly remembers torturing you when you were a mere toddler, as though it were yesterday. And yeah, 37 years is a lot of sunrises and sunsets and and drives on the freeway and can you imagine how many times you've brushed your teeth in your lifetime? (Not enough, I assure you)

Yeah. You're 37. And you've accomplished a lot. There were all the years of schooling, of partying, of generally horsing around in situations when you shouldn't have, and all those moments have become oft-remembered stories, and I never tire of hearing them. You've driven too fast for far too long, you've stumbled romantically (until obviously landing the gold-mine that is your current wife), you've tried things you probably shouldn't have tried, and that leaves you where you're at -- you're a 37-year-old man, and soon you're going to have a son and you'll remember all those garden gnome statues you snatched with your friends as a teen, not to mention all the other tomfoolery you were up to, and it's going to be worrisome, my love. Because your son shares your DNA and it will be all we can do to keep him alive and fed.

Whenever I think I'm feeling old, or you say you're feeling old, at 37 -- 37! -- I don't know why, but I think of my departed grandfather. Maybe it's because his stories from when he was 37 (and older) are really something else. He may as well have been a kid, you know? That one story about all the margaritas and the dancing and then blacking out and waking up on the ship? He was probably 37 then. By the way, remember the story about Linda barfing on him when he was driving? That has nothing to do with being 37; I've just always really liked that story.

I guess the point is there is still time for any number of shenanigans. I mentioned Julia Child the other day -- she didn't attend Le Cordon Bleu until her late 30s, and was 39 when she began to teach cooking. She'd had a whole other career before that, doing some kind of top secret research shit for the government. So if you want to become a chef, or race cars, or run 5 miles, or volunteer at the animal shelter, or travel to Tahiti, or move to Boston, or learn to play the piano, or work as a car salesman -- there's time for all that. I think, actually, you could do all of that, if you wanted to. You're a smart cookie -- the smartest I know. And you're funny, compassionate, and generous, which makes you popular among your peers. Lucky little extrovert.

And I know there's this child on his way and you've entered some heretofore unseen stage in which you're pretty much a caveman sitting in front of his cave with a big club and a look that warns death to all who approach me and our progeny with meat that has not been cooked all the way through. Which is one of the reasons I know you'll be a good dad -- that pure protective instinct that makes you see red. Although, truly, you've always been ready to punch someone's lights out on my behalf. Thanks for that. But that isn't the only reason I've always known you'd be a good dad. You've got these deeply ingrained morals and ideas about right and wrong that I've always been sort of in awe of. You're certainly a better person than I am when it comes down to personal behavior, and I'm no slouch in the morality department (if I do say so).

So when I look at you and your beautiful 37-year-old eyes (still good vision, by the way!), I see new beginnings and future adventures and comfort and a well of love I haven't reached the bottom of yet, lucky for me. There's a lot behind us, and even more ahead. Bad, good, hard, easy, whatever. Take my hand, birthday boy. The sun rose again and will keep its promise tomorrow, too.


  1. I absolutely love this! Happy birthday to B!

  2. Beautiful Post, Erin. That little boy you are growing is absolutely blessed to have you and B!

  3. What a beautiful and rich tribute. Happy Birthday to B!

  4. Why does everyone but me get to call your husband B? I feel like I'm the one who's in love with him after this.

    1. You can call him B! They just call him that because he likes to remain mysterious and anonymous on my blog. :)