Friday, August 16, 2013

Five Years of Us and Seven Months of Mabel

I wrote the letter below in my other blog, littlebabychew. It was written in honor of my five year anniversary that just happened to be a few days after Mabel's 7 month anniversary in our family. I can't tell you how many things I think of throughout the day that I say to myself: Man, I should write a blog about that or that could definitely be a story. I don't write nearly as much as I'd like to, but when I do make or find the time, I'm glad when I get to reflect on my life. I started this blog almost two years ago to mentally prepare myself for turning 30 years old. Since then I have bought a house, been a small part in having a beautiful baby girl, and 30 has come and gone. I should write more. I will, I'm sure. 

I think back before Jenna was in my life. I wrote when I was a teenager to get rid of my angst and because it was cathartic. Most of that stuff is terrible. I wrote in college because I had to, but more often than not I thought it was fun enough. I didn't write for years after that... nothing. 

I write more now than I ever have in my life and for that I'm lucky. I write more now because I have more to write about. I've spent five years with the love of my life and our family is growing and perfect. I'll keep writing, because I'll keep getting better. Life is a luxury and I'm currently living pretty F'n large. So here is a letter to little Mabel Jayne in honor of her Momma and our lives together. 

Cheers to all the years to come and all the unwritten words. There's plenty of time to find them and there is certainly plenty of motivation.

Little Mabel-

Five years ago, on this day August 16th, 2008, your Momma and Daddy stood in a beautiful little backyard grove and said some vows that ended in some "I do's". Leading up to that day, your mom and I felt an inexplicable draw to each other that ended up forming a bond that eventually led to you, our little peanut. I want to tell you a few things I've learned in that four years and five months before you joined the family:

1 - Time matters. How you spend it, where you spend it and who you spend it with are all remarkably important. Being conscious of that time and acknowledging it doesn't come easy or natural to most people, but when you learn to do so, it changes everything. That time we spent over those years taught us how to love each other better than we ever did before we were married. It taught us how to talk to each other, sometimes how to fight each other, and it taught us to appreciate the mere fact that we were together. We have grown as people, we have grown as a couple, and we have grown as friends to each other and to your vast web of grandmas, grandpas, aunts and uncles.

All that time, I don't think we realized we were just prepping for you. It's easy to love you and your perfect giggle, gorgeous smile, and everlasting loving looks, but the time and love your momma and I have spent cultivating makes it so much easier to see all the joy and beauty through the times that aren't always easy. Your first cold (which you're just getting over) is nothing compared to watching you roll over on all fours and rock back and forth, prepping for that first crawl. The sleepy mornings after long nights are nothing compared to what we're pretty sure is waving when we say hi and barking when you see Daisy.

2 - Talking matters. By the time you read this, I'm sure you'll have a pretty good idea of your old man's propensity for chattiness. It's easy for me to talk and to give fun speeches and to address large groups, but it hasn't always been easy for me to talk about the important stuff. Your mom either. Five years ago, we had remarkably different approaches for dealing with our conflicts or sharing what we really wanted to get out of our relationship. We worked through it through eventually breaking down those barriers and because we never stopped talking to each other and we kept loving each other.

Learning how to speak to one another, which hopefully we will pass on to you, took a lot of time, but after five years, hopefully we have a pretty good grasp of it. Sometimes, especially now, when I'm frustrated or I know your Momma is frustrated I think of you and I think of five years ago and I smile knowing that it's such a minuscule moment in our lives and I get less frustrated. That all came about through time and talking and just pure love for you and your mom. She does the same for me. More than I acknowledge, but I'm so proud of her. I fell in love with a person years and years ago who has grown into one of the best people I know. She just keeps getting better and better and you get to have her as your Momma and we get to share all this love with you.

3 - Love matters. Your Momma and I have been married for five years today because we love each other. We love each other for the people we were, people we are, and the people we're still becoming and will someday become. In these five years, those three words haven't always been easy to say, but they have always been the port we come back to. We say them to you every day and we want you to grow up to know what love is because you saw it every day of your life. We want you to learn how to talk, how to appreciate life, and how to love by giving back to you what you have given us.

We have spent five years become better people with and for each other, little Mabel Jayne, and now, seven months into your already amazing life, it's even more evident than it was on day one: We were learning to love each other better so we could love you and our new family the best. Thank you for giving us all that you have given us and thank you for helping me appreciate who your parents are as people, as individuals and as a couple. I don't thank your Mom enough out loud, but I thank her every day in my heart and in my life by saying those three small words and knowing she is the best part of me and has given me the best part of us, which is you.

I love you little girl. Thanks for making us better and thank you for helping me realize all the amazing things I get to teach you. I'm the luckiest Daddy, the luckiest husband, and the luckiest person I know. That's all because of the last five years with your Momma, and the last seven months with you.

Thank you, both.