B, you know me better than anyone but did you know…
That I watch you intently as you play with our daughter. That I love to see the two of you lock eyes and laugh so hard that one of you at least has milk coming out of your nose. Did you know that I smile every time I see you take a deep breath as A asks you to chase her around the sofa for the eighty-seventh time that afternoon. Or when she tells you she wants to be a Giant and climbs on your shoulders without any warning. You never say no. You never stop. You never disappoint her. Did you know that I smile and my heart sings when I see you dance with your princess or when I hear you both sing Crazy Nights. My world is happy when I see the two of you morph into more than father and daughter, more than best friends. I know A is happy. You can see it in the twinkle of her giddy eye as Papa Bear makes every game more exciting than she ever thought it would be.
And I know, despite how tired you are from being the parent who is not allowed stop and zone out for more than ten seconds, that you are happy. Finally, a happiness that has mellowed somewhere between the chaos of life with new routines, house moves, commutes and endless worries that have finally eased.
Years ago, you lost your whistle as stress, depression and everything unknown took over our lives. Our home, at one stage, was always haunted by your whistle. Rhythmic melodies that you would happily sing while cooking dinner, tidying up or making tea. You stopped whistling. In fact, it seemed as though the joyful essence of music slipped out of your life as our days felt harder and longer with a negative world creeping in our happy insular world. Finally, the tunes are back on and when I hear you whistle, I feel the sense of calm and happiness that sits behind those lips.
Did you know that I close my eyes when you come up from behind me and hold me in your arms, concentrating on that moment as we become us for a split second. Feeling the warmth of your embrace and the safety of your hold as you whisper in my ear, asking if I’m OK. Right now, I’m usually not OK. I’m sore and tired and have a tendency to complain more than someone should and more than their other half can tolerate. But you are always concerned about me, ever loving and ever tolerant of me as I make myself worse by taking on too much. Never judging or taking my exhaustion to be simply pregnancy symptoms. You take on my burdens, sharing if necessary or taking them away from me if you can. You are always on my side. Did you know, regardless of how our life would have turned out with two children and a home in the countryside, that I would have and always will need you. Did you know that my needing you is imbedded in my wanting you. Wanting to be apart of you, of us, forever and always.
We are three months off having a brand new baby who will rock our world once again. Changing everything. Making things new and complicated for the second time in our marriage. Did you know that you are the only one I ever wanted to have a family with, to share family cuddles, and lazy Sunday mornings in bed with extra legs and arms prodding us. Did you know that I have always seen my future with you, and only you.
Did you know how much I struggled to write a post today as you took A out for ice cream so that I could get some work done. Ideas floated around my head but I was not able to focus on a single one, and then, later in the day, I saw the glint in your eye as I secretly watched you from a gap in the door, cuddle and play with our daughter. And this post was all I could think of. I caught your eye as you cuddled A and whispered “I love you” to you and I really, really do. You smiled and mouthed, “love you too,” and I saw that same happy glint in your eye shine bright for me too.
You are an incredible Papa Bear and despite the fears I know you have about when Little Bean makes her entrance into our lives, despite the anxieties I know build up in you from time to time about sleepless nights and starting from scratch again, I know you can do this with a heart full of love, a mind full of thoughtful concern and arms full of careful embrace.
You are an incredible husband and despite the fact that there are days, weeks, months when I don’t tell you this, know that I am secretly watching you, silently feeling the smallest detail of you as you enter the room, always cherishing and needing you, and watching the clock waiting for you to come from work. Not because I need you to be at home, but rather because I so desperately want you to be at home. To be near me, under the same roof, to live and love together. And no matter how tired our next few years will be, you are the one who knows and understands me better than anyone. And I you.