I’ve already mentioned that Gary doesn’t like to make a fuss about his birthday, so today I am going to present a gift he doesn’t need to unwrap, try on, or even touch, but something that I hope still lets him know that the place in my heart for him grows each day, and I am glad our paths collided. I’m devoting today’s entry to him, and I promise not to get too sappy, slushy, or saccharine.
We met at a time when neither of us wanted anything less than another relationship to contend with, or even had the energy left to contemplate one. I’d say our eyes met across a crowded room, music swelled and fireworks blasted off in our hearts as we both swooned, all a-flutter…but I am not prone to swooning or fluttering (neither is he), and what actually happened was, I bared my claws, hissed at him, and puffed up my tail in a defiant “back off” display complete with narrowed eyes and a guttural growl. All figuratively speaking, of course… except the hissing. (I hiss at police officers and cars with Bush stickers too.)
Luckily he was not deterred by a hissing, reluctant woman, and the more time we spend together, the more I appreciate someone who loves me without a list of conditions and demands; someone who respects me and values me; someone I can laugh with, get silly with, and also talk to when I need to unleash my soul; and perhaps most importantly…someone who likes my cats. OK, just kidding. The most important thing is…he cooks and cleans. Without me having to ask him to. Maybe only the ladies will grasp the awe-inspiring enormity of that, but it’s just part of what is definitely the most important thing: feeling like we are truly partners. Equals. Teammates.
Watching him with the kids is amazing. They love each other completely, ardently, and totally. The kids are thrilled simply to be next to him, no matter what they are doing. His world is those kids, and the bond they share is powerful and beautiful. Nothing, not even the drama, pain or prevarication of others, will erase that or make it less true, now or ever.
So, Gary, happy birthday to the man who stands with me, beside me, and shares the ups and downs that are kicked our way. At the end of it all, I’m still honored to spend time with you and the kids, and I’m happy we are all celebrating together today.