Autumn. It just swoops on by, not letting up for a moment. The moon changes phases faster than ever, the trees give up their summertime greenery and dress up in fall fashions like teenage girls getting ready for the homecoming dance, and then just leave them in a puddle for their mothers to pick up. Pictures taken just days ago seem dated, memories from a summer whose days have already fled. I can’t keep up, on so many fronts. I love this season, I want it to stick around, but I keep noticing that it’s shifting without me, whether I like it or not. And there are days when I have been so deep in the process of relocating the details of my life–where did the silverware get packed away to? Isn’t there a tape measure around here somewhere?–that I find my days spinning. And too often, and altogether too soon, the four o’clock shadows close in on me, making me rue the time I’ve not been spending out of doors, drinking in this most lovely and fleeting of seasons.
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But there are days and dates that demand that I stop and take stock. Today is such a day. It is the day on my calendar that always has a heart around it. It is my beloved’s birthday.
This little guy. On his first birthday, surrounded by his oh-so-young parents and their parents, along with three great-grandparents. On the day that Don Larsen pitched a perfect game in the World Series. You do the math.
I am so lucky to be married to this man. He is so many things to me. The usual lists hardly suffice: best friend, confidant, playmate, fellow parent, love of my life. And yet, if there was even the slightest dropping off of appreciation for what he gives me, what I learn from him…let’s just say, there were some tragedies thrown our way that completely renewed my gratefulness for how lucky I am. With the things we’ve faced these past few years, I’m tempted to insert the words “I couldn’t have done it without him” right about here, which he would deny. He thinks I’m stronger than I am; I like to think he’s right. And yet, and yet. Things that would have been scary and sad had I faced them alone, just weren’t so bad, with him by my side. Trips to Maine after my sister passed away, the whole era of treatment after that one lousy mammogram, it’s all a blur, but a blur with both happy and sad moments, remarkably. And it would all weigh so much more heavily on my heart, had he not been there with me.
He’s my Mary Poppins. He figures out ways to make the medicine go down–like building in stops for lobster rolls or date night dinners at our usual spot, with our favorite bartenders holding sway. He is, as our kids like to call him, Compulsive Man, which makes him a good person to have in your corner–the guy who labels the iPad charger cords and prints out three iterations of his calendar, one for him, one for me, one for all the overlap spots that need to be ironed out. He is generous and kind, and he always does the right thing. His motto these days, in his work life, is simply: “What can I do to help you?” His willingness to make it possible for others get where they’re going spills over to everything and everyone else in his life. I am the most fortunate recipient of that fantastic attitude of his.
He doesn’t keep score. He loves me the way I am. He is the best thing that ever happened to me.