The other day you and I were out and we ran into a friend of yours, someone I hadn't met before. You did what you do in these situations.
"Hey, so-and-so, this is my wife, Jennie."
It was nothing, really, has happened a hundred times before, really, but it's still that gut reaction, stomach-jumping, hard-to-describe feeling I get when I hear the word.
It's that smile I feel coming on without me having anything to do with it. It's that warmth I feel, and I wonder if who I'm being introduced to can feel it too. (I doubt it, but I hope it.)
I hear "my wife" and I think "say it again."
Day-to-day stuff can be tough. We yell, we stomp, we pout (fine, I pout), we cross our arms like motherfucking arm-crossing champs, and then we glare about broken promises across desperately-need-to-be-cleaned rooms yet -- still, but, always -- I fear if any of the real powers-at-be find out I snagged you, they'll snatch you from me. Because, my goodness, you're such a damn catch. (You look at me like I'm a catch too. Not always, let's be real, but enough to make me believe you.)
I still think our wedding day was the very best day of any day that could ever exist. (Well, that could ever exist without needles and vaginal tearing.) It wasn't perfect, it was definitely not sober start to finish, but it was just so damn happy. When I think of our wedding, I think beautiful, drunk happiness. When I think of our marriage, I think earned, worked-for, grateful-for (and, fine, maybe still a little drunk) happiness.
Then there's Kyle. Wow, did we luck out with this kid.
The boy you let me name, the boy who looks like me and calls for me in the dead of night, but the boy who grins like you. The boy who asks me, out of the blue on a random Tuesday, if he can have "an orange motorcycle like daddy when I'm big." The boy who has a floppy head of blond hair and a love of books but a soul that shines just like yours does. He is my beautiful boy, my buds, my brightest spot in all the sky, but he is your son, your stubborn, strong-willed, optimistic little dude.
I used to wish for a redheaded boy, and that would have been just lovely. I didn't realize back then, though, that a boy who looks like you isn't what I really wanted. What I wanted is what I got: a boy who reminds me of you. A boy who laughs often, loves without compare, who hugs tightly.
The other day I said to him, "Oh kid, you're so much like your father." He stomped a little and said, "No! I'm not like Daddy! I'm like Kyle Parker!" "Hate to break it to you, kid, but that's exactly what your daddy would say."
It's true. You stomp your feet just like he does.
What I really mean what I do that, when I compare you two, is that he is so damn decent, it stuns me anew every day. You are so damn decent, it suns me anew every day.
Thank you for him, Mike. Thank you for our life. Thank you for my own DVR and for changing my car's oil when it makes that funny noise and for picking up hummus or Diet Dr. Pepper or burritos on your way home from work, whatever I might be in the mood for, and for letting me shrilly yell at you when I just need to shrilly yell sometimes.
Happy five years (tomorrow) of blissfully, exhaustively, honestly, happily our marriage, Mike. In a lot of ways I'm still figuring this wife gig out, but oh thank goodness, you have faith I can do it.
I love you so much, it's ridiculous. I love you so much, it's not.
Say it again.