For her

She’s my better half. The half of me that shines brighter, smiles wider, and loves bigger. Her kindness is infectious and it draws people to her. She still writes down the birthdays of friends and relatives on calendars, and sends physical cards instead of emailing an animated image of a cake and candles. She trips over her own feet, and spills food on an almost weekly basis. She’s the love of my life and the mother of my child.

The amount of patience she has for my bullshit is astounding. She can calmly watch our daughter throw food from her highchair, while all I can think about is the mess I’ll have to clean up. She still thinks I won’t tickle her after she’s asked me not to, but I can’t help wanting to hear her infectious giggle over and over. She will listen to me complain about my lack of direction in life for the thousandth time, yet still give me words of encouragement.

Her days begin with stiff joints, aches and pains that have been her unwelcome companion since she was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis back in 2008. Her invisible illness is with her on the train ride to work, throughout her 9-5 and back home again. Some days are good, some days are bad. I can’t always tell which is which, and I know that is frustrating for both of us. Yet when she walks through our front door she’s still filled with love and tenderness for both me and our child.

In a past life, a simple thing like making a doctor’s appointment used to fill her with anxiety. She would make me call to order takeout. At some point in time aliens came, abducted her and replaced her with someone more confident and outgoing. Or perhaps she just became a stronger person by using photography and social media to meet more people and become the individual she is today. The same person who couldn’t say “I’d like to place an order for delivery” over the phone is now going to the White House on her own to be part of social media events. My, how she’s grown.

She’s got a great eye for design, and wants very much to divorce me and marry Anthropologie so she can frolic in their clothing and front window displays. Ever since I’ve known her she’s been into photo albums, scrapbooking and keeping memories alive. She’s taken it to greater heights with Project Life, allowing her to use her keen eye and creativity to make fantastic albums that chronicle her history. I’m in awe of what she’s created, as well as thankful that I’ll have these crystal clear images of our life and times to look back upon because of her.

I’m lucky to have her in my life, and luckier to have her as the mother of our child. I can only hope that her love, kindness and optimism rub off on our daughter more than my sarcasm and geekiness do. I want Olivia to know how strong her mom is, even when facing an autoimmune disease that tries to keep her down on a daily basis. I want her to appreciate the moments we have together as a family, be they big or small. And, ok, maybe I want her to be a little geeky. I need someone else to sit down with me and watch Indiana Jones while my wife shakes her head and wonders what’s so cool about a guy with a whip chasing after Nazi treasures.