This month you get a two-fer! Today Mark turns 38 and Anya turns nine months… kinda. She actually turns nine months on the 29th but we’re not having one of those this month, so I’m smashing them together. Hey, I’m on vacation, give me a break!
Dear Anya and Mark,
There is something so final for me about a baby turning nine months. Somehow I got the idea that a baby spending as much time topside as they did in utero means that they’re here to stay. I always take a big breath on this day and squeeze the baby in question, grateful that this amazing child is in my life and looking forward to the rest of their lives, stretched out in front of them like a stunningly vibrant ribbon. And Anya, you are so stunning and so vibrant that I often catch my breath and stuff a fist in my mouth to stop myself from sobbing at your perfect smile. I am overwhelmed by you. I sit and watch the intricate dance of play you share with Lily and feel like I have created a perfect complement to my big girl. You two are so in love with each other and I hope, even when you’re fighting over the petty, dramatic or deadly serious you always remember how deeply you are connected.
And Mark, I couldn’t have known what I would find when I first said yes to your touch. I thought I was just getting a boyfriend and instead I have gotten this amazing coconspirator. Not only are you my best friend but you are the most loving and involved father I could have ever hoped to have for my children. I watch you with the girls and feel like I hit the jackpot. Without you this job would be so much harder and not nearly as much fun. Without you by my side, the winding path of my life would be full of brambles and unexpected holes. Walking the path together I have the fortune of your gentle touch, steering me around the pitfalls or the warmth of your hand as we cross the river together. You make me a sappy, silly person and I can’t stop myself from giggling when I think of all the stories you have brought into my life. You are adventures and funny and you take on the world with such a steady gaze; I never fear the fleabag hotels (Mexico), the unintended homosexual advances (Alaska), your calm in the face of machine gun toting boys (Soccoro Island), or the grumpy passengers on an overcrowded airplane (Canada and this trip). You are the family I have chosen and together we have filled out our clan with two of the most amazing children that there ever were. Thank you.
I can’t imagine my life without either of you or Lily. You people make life Technicolor.
Happy Birthday, Mark. And nine months of life with you, Anya… priceless and astonishing.
Smooches on your heads,
The woman you both call “Love”