Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Happy Birthday, Pop Tart . . .

My beautiful wife turns 34 today. Her birthday has always been sort of a "marked" day for us. We've never really celebrated the day or done it up right.

Her first birthday that we celebrated together came two months in to our courtship. She turned 29 (she was so young then (smile)). We had dinner with her friends at a restaurant in Baltimore where I met most of them for the first time. I was very scared. I was the 500-pound boyfriend from DC. They were a clique of very smart, very caustic, very funny people. I don't think I wowed any of them.

Her next birthday was just a week after she got home from the hospital - having almost died. I moved in with her on her birthday. My parents were staying with us (to help take care of Joy while I was at work and to help me move in) and she and I went to a very "romantic" dinner at a restaurant in Columbia. Happy, uh, 30th, honey!

Joy's next birthday came weeks before the second time I was supposed to have gastric bypass in our relationship. The fine folks at Union Memorial had asked me to do a 30 day "fast" to lose as much weight as possible in anticipation of my surgery (as Dr. Liao explained, ever pound I lost was another %-point closer to safety on the table) and I was about 10 days in. I got a special "waiver" to eat something "sensible" that night. The exact meal that was suggested was some grilled fish and steamed vegetables so I dragged Joy to a random restaurant in Glen Burnie.

By Joy's next birthday, we were living in Connecticut and were new parents. We spent her birthday with my parents and Ava at an apple orchard and pumpkin farm eating fresh donuts and drinking warm apple cider. We had dinner at home. And a Mrs. Field's cookie for dessert.

Last year Joy and Ava dropped me off at the airport for me to fly back to Connecticut on her birthday. We went to lunch that day with her family here in Wichita and then cried most of the afternoon as I faced getting back on the plane and leaving my wife and daughter here while I tried to figure out a plan to get back here on a permanent basis.

It is not that I don't love Joy. I adore her. It is not that I don't want her to have amazing birthdays full of spa days and packages with pretty bows (she DOES get gifts every year, I promise) but her birthday just always seems to fall at the wrong time (I blame her parents, really (smile)) and we have just never really hit a homerun on her special day. It embarasses me.

So what will we do this year? Well - we hope to have "taco night" (a favorite for all three of us) before Joy runs off to class for the evening. Yep. Another "classic" birthday for Joy.

There's always next year, right?! Right?! RIGHT?!

In the meantime, I love you very much, Joy. I hope you have a wonderful day and I hope tonight's tacos are the most delicious 4% fat beef, reduced fat, multi-grain, soft tortilla tacos you've ever had. Complete with veggies, reduced fat cheese, low fat sour cream and full-tilt guacamole (nothing but the finest "green dip" for my ladies).

Here's to the day you turn 34 and to 365 blessed and love and laughter filled days to follow!

Happy Birthday!


nytova said...

Happy Birthday to Joy!

This Show said...

I don't want to use the phrase every day is a gift. But Taco night seems like a pretty fun birthday after all!

Happy Birthday Joy!