Thank you for casting me in your scene, from the play we’d later name our daughter after.
Thank you for asking me out so casually that day after we performed that scene.
Thank you for convincing me that moving apart wasn’t necessarily a reason to break up.
Thank you for believing in our future, even when I couldn't see it, much less believe in it.
Thank you for being endlessly patient with me, my craziness, my screams for independence, my need to run, my wanderlust.
Thank you for not only tolerating my family during a lot of ups and downs, but working your way into my family. And thank you for welcoming me into your family so openly, generously and completely.
Thank you for waiting on me, waiting for the right time, even when I kept you waiting too long.
Thank you for showing me your world, your hometown, and then helping me make it my own.
Thank you for constant support and encouragement. Thank you for trusting me even when I didn’t trust my own decisions.
Thank you for setting goals that included me and the family we didn’t even have – and then reaching them.
Thank you for choosing a career that uses your brain and your talents, but doesn’t abuse your time or your family. Thank you for being so good at it that we have such security, and I don’t have to worry about your happiness there.
Thank you for giving me our daughter, trusting me to raise her, and supporting my naïve mothering choices. You always said I knew best, even when I had no clue what I was doing.
Thank you for freeing me from any other obligations than motherhood, but then encouraging me to start a career path anew.
Thank you for getting me through my master’s degree. You didn’t have a very present wife for a few years, yet you happily provided sound advice, extra hours at home, and plenty of encouragement, with rarely a complaint.
Thank you for tolerating my endless prattling when you come home, when I am so eager to speak with an adult and to share my day. Thank you for being a full-time employee and a full-time dad.
Thank you for being an extraordinary father. Sylvia is a better person because she has a present, loving, fun, cuddly, entertaining, supportive and hands-on daddy. I couldn’t ask for a better partner in parenting.
Thank you for wanting to go through the chaos of newborn life again, but also for understanding how brief that time will be.
Thank you for teaching me how to value friends and family, why NPR is awesome, the subtleties of Southern barbeque, the simple joy of a day at the lake, and that it is perfectly acceptable – nay, rewarding – to be dependent on another person.
Thank you for sharing the last 13 of your 36 years with me. I love you.