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Four years ago today, we got married. In some ways it was a mere formality -- an excuse for getting dishes and coffee makers -- because we'd already been each other's family since, well, less than a month after we'd met. But this is a good date for remembering, and for letting the rest of you know what she means to me.

Coincidentally -- at least, I think coincidentally -- the last four years have been the most tulmutuous of my life. Jobs have changed, cities have changed, we became parents and, well, almost none of it has been easy.

But she has made it easier. She's been unwavering in her support, determined and optimistic when my confidence failed, a cheerleader -- but also completely willing to challenge me when I say something stupid. She likes watching silly Asian action flicks with me, and we enjoy going to art exhibits and the orchestra together. She's my friend, but she really is -- in ways I never dreamed -- a real partner.

She's also an amazing mother. It delights me to watch my wife and my son play with each other, and if I'm occasionally jealous that she gets far more of his affectionate moments than I do, well, I know she deserves them: She's worked much harder than I have at parenting.

I'll never forget the morning I woke up after Tobias was born. He'd arrived after midnight, and after processing and various other requirements, we didn't get to fall asleep in the hospital room until some hours later. I woke to hear Jo talking to our son -- and her voice was so cheerful, so loving, that I almost cried. I already knew I loved my wife; to hear her loving our child revealed to me that there was an extra chamber in my heart that I'd previously never known about.

I've also been privileged to become part of her family. They have been remarkably supportive and optimistic on my behalf, too, when times were rough. I've been humbled by the love they've extended to me. And I confess I don't always understand it.

Nor, frankly, do I understand why she loves me. But it seems she does, and shows it to me all the time. I often wonder what she gets out of our relationship. But I try not to ask the question as often as I think it. I'll have to live with the mystery. All I know is this: She does love me. It humbles me, and it emboldens me, and it makes my life better.

I love you too, Jo.


Anonymous said…


Anonymous said…
Thanks. We love you too, Joel.
Your M-I-L,
namefromthepast said…
Stuff like that is great to hear.

I'm happy for your whole family.

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