January ushers in a time period in our family that I fondly refer to as "Birthday Alley." In our immediate family, we each have one birthday every month from January to May (with extended family mixed in a lot, too). Sam totally messed that up, but we'll forgive him. Now that I think of it, I mainly refer to this time as Birthday Alley in my mind, but I'm going to start referring to it as that aloud beginning....NOW.
So, my sweet husband's birthday starts our slide down Birthday Alley on January 17, and it always catches me off guard. Once Christmas is over, I put my mind and life on cruise control for a little bit while I try to get over all the craziness of the holidays. But, next thing you know, I'm staring at the 17th of January totally unprepared. Last year, I improvised. This year, we have Sam. :) (Mama, please forget you read that.)
Chris' birthday is actually celebrated throughout this great nation of ours. School children everywhere thank him for being born since they get a day off of school and everything. Oh, wait. That's not whose birthday they get out for? Either way, it works out well for Chris, seeing as he's a teacher and all. So, for his special day this year, we gave him...a day without us. I know. We're sweet like that. I'm hoping he returns the favor in April. (I'm kidding, of course. I'd never wish for a day without my adoring husband and four amazing children!) To celebrate the big 3-6 (yikes!), he got to go hiking in the leftover ice with his favorite brother-in-law while his (and my)sister-in-law and I took four children out on the town for a day. He was happy and we still only have four children. It worked out well for everyone, I'd say.
I have been intending to devote a blog post to how wonderful he is in honor of his special day, but it's been a couple of weeks now and I still haven't done it, obviously. I just struggle with the words to express how much he means to me. I'm terrible at expressing my love for him (and for most people) in words and when someone is really so wonderful, I hate to take away from that with words that don't do them justice. The greatest compliment I think I can give him is to say that he has been married to me for twelve years now and is still here. He has to put up with A LOT. Seriously. And he does it with so much grace.
We may not be the most lovey dovey couple around. And there are days when we get on each other's last nerve. There are times we're spittin' mad at each other. And days where there's just not much to say. We don't do everything perfectly in our marriage, but that's really what says the most about him. He's a sinner married to a sinner, yet he is a beautiful example of Christlike love. He bathes children endlessly, mops the kitchen floor, washes the dishes, and takes out the trash with hardly a complaint. He stays up late helping me as I frantically try to get all my duties accomplished, refusing to let me go it alone. He cleans the bathroom when I'm pregnant, and many times when I'm not. He goes to work everyday to face gobs of teenagers with attitudes, and does so with a mostly good attitude, to put dinner on our table...and to try to change a few of his students' lives. He has realized that a meager bank account but a full heart is so much better than the other way around. He is faithful to his God and his wife. There is never a day that goes by that I wonder if he'll stick with me...not because I'm so great, but because he is.
So, Happy Belated Birthday, Chris. I hope we celebrate many more together. What can I say? You're the best. I wouldn't trade you for the world.