Often, around birthdays or anniversaries, people post something on social media about how their spouse is the best, most important, or their best friend. But what are the details behind those statements?
I don't think I have ever loved Patrick as much as I love him now, and it continues to grow. I hope that the love grows infinitely, but as I feel it so strongly in the moment, I want to write down what makes me so grateful to have him in my life.
He is an utterly devoted husband and father. Devoted. What does that look like? Changing diapers, feeding, clipping fingernails, putting the girls to sleep, running errands for me, doing things for all of us whose sole purpose is to make our lives easier and better. It is a sad fact that many husbands are not active in childcare. It is not just sad, it's pitiful. Both the fathers and children are missing out on something so important, the chance to at once build relationship and display equality in action. Patrick does this, without needing to be recognized for it, every day of his life. He and I do not show affection through gifts, but mostly through time and attention. When he sits with me and listens to me and gives me gentle direction when I feel I am at an impasse, he is giving me the gift of love, and he does this often. He always makes me feel pretty, even when I feel I look my worst. He has never once said something disparaging about my physical appearance, even at his most angry. That has done wonders for my self esteem. Paradoxically, the confidence from feeling beautiful makes me want to be healthier, and continue a virtuous cycle.
Patrick is in a state of constant improvement. He is a renaissance man, and I am forever interested by him and the new parts of life he is exploring. He taught himself languages, guitar, singing, golf, basketball, baseball, soccer, film making, and, most recently, magic. He is expert level at: teaching and running a classroom, Spanish, guitar, singing, Spanish language literature and art, golf, basketball and film critique. He can become at expert at anything he wants. He has projects on the horizon to learn more Portuguese, French and Russian, so he can read the classics in these original languages. He wants to make movies and has several scripts in his head already. He is mastering storyboarding, script writing, shooting, and editing films as well. He has been writing jokes for stand up as long as I remember. He sings and plays guitar for our family, and he fills our lives with jokes and music and stories. He does great accents! If you can get him to open up, he will spend hours displaying his accents from Northern Ireland to Spain to Australia to Chile to Jamaican. He loves to speak Spanish in an Australian accent. He does impersonations of everyone from people we know personally to public figures no one has ever heard of like Billy Ocasio, a Puerto Rican Alderman on Chicago's North Side. One of my favorite impersonations he does is Colin's impression of Scooby Doo.
Patrick is not only incredibly smart, talented, and motivated, he is good to look at. He has the most beautiful hair and beard and eyes. He is a very handsome man. People say he is a cross between Ryan Gosling and Edward Norton. He is a babe.
It's not only these things I can list that make me love him so much, it's the subtle, unnameable things. It's the way he thinks about things. His confidence in himself. His desire to live truly and fully. His ability to stay calm when I feel unease. The way he loves seeing the girls after a few hours away, and how he scoops them up and truly embraces them. In that moment, he is totally present in the way other people wish they could be. How honest he is with me, without ever being unnecessarily harsh. How he responds with strength to adversity, but somehow keeps his softness, and his ability to take in the world fully. His sensitivity to everything, and how I want to bring him to a place that will help him blossom further, because I can't imagine how great he could possibly be in a place that suits him and doesn't drag him down.
People don't talk too openly about their spouses, I've noticed. But I want to talk here about mine, while I feel it all.