“An open love letter to my husband:
It’s not Valentine’s Day or your birthday or our anniversary. It’s just Saturday. I don’t have a special card to write this in, but I want you to hear it just the same. And I want to tell you right away, without a special occasion.
I love you.
I was watching a movie recently, and one character asked another, ‘Why do you love me?’ I thought to myself, ‘There are a lot of reasons why I love my husband…’ Then, as I began to think of the list of what I would tell YOU in that moment, my answer was, ‘I love you because you’re YOU.’
And that’s the truth.
I love you because even though you had never held another infant, the first time you held our firstborn, your eyes were teary and you became a dad. In that moment, everything changed, and I got the privilege of watching it unfold, right before my eyes.
I love you because even though you were only 21, you were instantly an amazing father.
I love you because every day for the past 11 and a half years, you’ve said I’m beautiful. Even when I was sick or had bad hair or was swollen from a tooth pulled or covered in stretch marks filled with a rash that made me look like an alien creature.
I love you because you leave for work as the sun rises and you come home as the sun sets, and you do it with such a good attitude. You work hard and I home school the kids, and I love you for never making me feel like my contribution is less valuable than yours. For telling me, ‘You’re the best mom ever.’ For helping me cook dinners and do dishes and put kids to bed, and just truly being a team with me.
I love you because you look past my lack of cooking skills, and I look past how you put recyclables on the counter instead of under the sink where they go. (You do know that’s where I keep them, right? Under the sink beside the trash bin.) You look past how I put the trash bag on the porch for you to take it to the can, and I look past how you put your clothes next to the hamper instead of inside of it. (I do not look past your disdain for the proper way to squeeze a tube of toothpaste, though. I’m done sharing toothpaste with you.)
I love you because we laugh at these things; we don’t fight about them.
I love you because you’re such a good father that our youngest quite literally wants to BE you, and wants us to call him by your name. I love you for taking seriously the kind of a role model you must be for him, and for the other two boys.
I love you because you play with our kids. You’ve been a robot, a hobbit, an army general, a talking car, a horsie, a wizard, and a ninja…just to name a few!
I love you for warming up the car for us when it’s cold out. And for all the work you do when we go camping and kayaking, with all the loading and the unloading.
I love you for knowing the letter-number combination of the type of makeup I buy.
I love you for your patience and empathy when I go through phases of bad anxiety. I love you for asking, ‘How can I help? I’ll do anything.’
And when I had a miscarriage, I remember sitting with you in silence, a few days later. I didn’t want to cry anymore, and I had no words. You said, ‘I know we never met the baby, but it was our baby.’ And I could hear your brokenness too. I felt validated and understood. I love you for being there for me, like you vowed, in sickness and in health. For walking with me through the hard times, and dancing with me in the joyful ones.
I love you for your honesty, loyalty, and trustworthiness.
I love you for being careful with what our kids are exposed to, for protecting them, and for cherishing their childhoods.
I love you for helping me make hot cocoa in the middle of the night, and getting the kids up to lay in the lawn and watch a meteor shower. I love you for the memories we build.
I love you for that look we give each other when one of our kids does something precious. I love you for checking on them with me, before we go to bed ourselves, and smiling and whispering, ‘Don’t we have the most amazing kids?’
I love that we almost never fight and when we do, it’s not loud and scream-y.
I love that you care about my side of the family.
I love that we have a years-long, ongoing game of popping out to scare each other.
I love that you ask me to cut your hair, even though it’s literally a 50/50 chance I’ll mess up and we will have to just shave it off again. (Really, just go get it done by a pro!)
I love you because you are a light in my life. I love when your car pulls up after work. I love that the kids run to the window to watch you get out of your car, run to the door to greet you, and all talk at once because they’re so happy to see you. I love that, and I don’t know if you’ve ever thought about it, but not all homes are like that. Not all husbands and fathers bring joy home like that, like you do for us.
I love you for buying me chocolate, and knowing our relationship relies on that. (Only joking.)
I love you for sending me your daily Bible verse.
I love you for calling me every day on your lunch break, for as long as I can remember.
I love you for loving our kids, loving fatherhood, loving me, and the life we have.
I love you because tonight you were Dumbledore, and you spoke in an accent while encouraging our Gryffindor students to get ready for bed.
I love you because when the toddler had a pee accident during the bedtime rush, you didn’t get frustrated. Instead you turned on the weird pre-programmed music that came with our keyboard, and you literally danced — a funny dance to make me laugh — your way off to get some cleaner and a towel, and danced back in, and danced while you cleaned it up.
And even typing these silly things from this evening — this Dumbledore and dancing potty clean up story — make me choke up, because you are just… YOU.
I love our life together. And seriously, I love you.”
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‘I’ll hold you tight, but I’ll hold your mother tighter. My love for you grows the more I understand the measure of a mother’s love.’: Dad pens appreciation letter to wife for birthing son, ‘I will never be able to repay you’
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