Sunday, the kids will come over and we’ll all wish my wife Toni a happy birthday. She told them she doesn’t want presents; she just wants their presence. She already got her birthday present from me, a brand new bike, and she’s already put quite a few miles on it. But the kids get a pass.
As far as I’m concerned, she’s not another year older; she’s another year better. Once you get past a certain age – I’m not sure what that age is – you really ought to stop counting. Oh, sure, there are landmarks like 50 and 60, but nowadays, if you keep yourself reasonably healthy, they’re just numbers.
It’s been an interesting year for us. It was my first full year of being self-employed, stitching together jobs creating websites, writing projects, and working as a producer for a national news organization. My wife was my biggest fan, booster, supporter, and cheerleader as I made the transition from getting up at half past two in the morning and slogging off to work in the dark, to getting up when her alarm goes off, and walking down two short flights of stairs to work.
We added another member to the family in the past year…our new Collie, Sunny, came to live with us in February. As much as our 4-year-old Collie, Shadow, is a “daddy-girl”, Sunny is a “mumma girl”. Sunny turns 2 just two days after Toni’s birthday. Sunny just dotes on Toni; follows her around everywhere in the house or the yard, and is always jumping up on her to give her a whole bunch of sloppy kisses.
It’s a year of transitions for our kids, too. Our son is putting the finishing touches on his degree at the UW Business School and will be a practicing accountant by the time my wife’s next birthday rolls around. And our daughter is moving back in with us for a couple weeks in August, and then she’s off to the College of New Rochelle in NYC to start her master’s degree.
Toni is constantly re-inventing herself, so she’s not averse to change. Her hair is a completely different color than it was on her last birthday. A year ago she was passionate about gardening and tending her roses and other flora; now she’s passionate about creating her own clothes and jewelry.
And riding her new bike.
So, if you’re reading this dear, thanks for putting up with my follies and foibles for another year; thanks for making our house a beautiful home; thanks for being the best mom in the world for the kids; thanks for getting up and going to work and bringing home a huge chunk of the bacon; and thanks for being the best partner I could ever imagine.