To my wife on her birthday

I am not particularly good at gift giving. I have moments, glimmers of thoughtfulness when I’m not busy forgetting to do just about everything in the world that I’m supposed to do, when I realize how bad I am at it. I am atrociously bad at planning for special events, whether Christmas or birthdays.

So I’m writing this because once again I’ve fallen short.

I love my wife, known here and elsewhere online as “Agent Bun.” I love her and am thankful every day that we decided to fight the odds together.

Retirement Sunset
Someday, This Will Be Our Every Day

There are so many things that I’d never have experienced without her, and she’s created a home and family life that is better than anything I could have imagined. It’s not always been sunny with roses, and there are still times where I think Anakin Skywalker was a little too hard on himself for some things.

But it’s all worth it. Everything worth doing is, at its baseline, an endurance test. There are times that will suck, and you have to gut it out and walk it off when the hills pass.

Marriage is no different.

Passion

Agent Bun and I have a lot of fun and enjoy each other completely. But we also disagree about a lot of stuff. We disagree on small things like television, finding rare intersections of interest with things like LOST or The Walking Dead (back when it was good). She still refuses to watch Star Trek. I’m still asked to leave the room when The Bachelor/ette (even while in Paradise) comes on television.

We disagree on the limited role of federal government and the dangers of centralized bureaucracy in the hands of those who seek power as an end to force their vision of the world onto us. She thinks I need to loosen up. I think she needs to read the Constitution of the United States of America more closely.

We fight about some things, sometimes nastily. You have to live with me to understand exactly how sharp I keep the verbal knives when I’m feeling feisty. I’m not proud of it. I’m acknowledging that Agent Bun has a steel shield on her soul, and absorbs things better than most could hope. Which is good, because like Clemenza said, sometimes you have a war just to get the bad blood out. If you’re going to be passionate, it’s going to happen.

And we are passionate about what we both care about. Caring for our kids. Showing love and compassion for our fellow Man.

Klingon Comparison Shot: 1960s show versus Deep Space Nine
She still won’t watch any version of this show.

Some of my happiest moments are when I can make her laugh unexpectedly. It happens from time to time, where I’ll offer an observation or insight on something – or possibly a play on words, the way my dad taught me to make them – and I’ll catch her off-guard and I’ll get a legitimate belly laugh out of her.

She’s the toughest crowd I know and, for someone who tries to fire off a zinger in just about every conversation, she makes me work hard for that chuckle. Which is good, because it makes me work even harder to make her smile.

The absolutely happiest moments, though, are when I see her being a Mommy. Last year, our youngest was still in the blissful cradle of her womb. This year, that bundle of giggles is brightening our days thanks to the doting love of her mommy. You haven’t seen such happiness as when our kids or our pets, even the cat she has unjustly imprisoned in the basement, get attention from her.

But as wonderful as all that is, it’s not precisely what makes us work as a team in the phenomenal way we do.

Why We Work

We work because we are the pieces of each other’s puzzle. We are interlocking personalities that bolster and complete what the other is not.

Agent Bun is a details person. She plans, sets the stage ahead and frets over the details of getting things just right. She cares very much that the details are set properly. It’s what delights our kids and makes their time magical – Mommy makes sure that the camps are set up, the library books get returned, and that the sheets fit the bed.

Conversely, I enjoy chaos and problem solving. So when those careful plans catch fire, or the rathtars escape, she knows she can rely on me to hit the hyperdrive at the right time.

But most of all, I can’t imagine anyone else being the mother our kids need. It’s thanks to her they have the social skills they’ll need and the thoughtfulness to structure good lives for themselves. They will always know their mother adores them with a fire that rivals the sun.

Seeing her once again, unexpectedly, becoming a Mommy since her last birthday has reminded me of all these things. It has reminded me of the fact that for all that came between us sometimes, we were able to make it work and we’ll always have proof it was the right call.

I thank God for you, Agent Bun, and I know now, at this time, better than I ever did before.

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