to the father of my boys on his birthday

Ryan,

Today is your 39th birthday. That’s 39 trips around the sun, and I’ve been blessed to spend the last six with you – even if we’ve only managed to spend a grand total of one of your birthdays together. Life with you is sweeter, funnier, and so much more fulfilling than I ever thought it could be, and we love you to bitty pieces.

When I look at our boys, I see mirrored in them your empathy, your compassion, and your humor. They’re witty and rambunctious, just like you. Spencer, especially, cares so deeply, and I know that’s a trait he got from you, too. Porter got your wild streak, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

There’s a lot of ways I could honor you on your birthday, but since you’re hundreds of miles away from me, I can only do so with my words and my heart. And so, Ryan, I wish for your day to be sweet and swift. I wish for it to be fast so you can come home to us, so we can celebrate you in person. Most of all though, wish for you to feel all the love that so many people in this world – family and friends – feel for you.

On your birthday, I want you to know that the greatest gift you’ve ever given the world is these two little boys. They’re your reflection, and as I watch them grow, even while you’re away, I can’t help but hope that I’m fostering a little bit of you in them. They love their Daddy so much, and even though they don’t understand why Daddy’s always gone, they get it. They know you’re doing something big. Something that means something.

I wish I was with you to give you your material gifts in person, but I want you to know that we’re holding down the fort, waiting for you to come back home to us. Most of all though, know that we love you and that we miss you. As ridiculously hard as this Army life is, I’d weather it all again a thousand times just for you.

Happy birthday, honey…I love you. Cheers to an eternity more <3