I apologize in advance for the cheesiness of this post, but I am having a bit of a down day mentally today and felt the need to channel my inner Tom Hanks/Meg Ryan movie. Is it any wonder that I love You’ve Got Mail?
I have so many things I want to tell you, and I need to say it out loud right now. I am going to say things that you will not want to hear, and it will be hard for you to see this posted. For that, I am sorry.
When we met, we were still somewhat young and foolish. You like to joke that you had heard I had never been in a relationship, and I like to let you think that. We stayed out late into the early mornings, we held hands, we fell in love. Well, you fell in love first, but I quickly followed suit. You impressed me with your Chinese skills on our first date, and I impressed you with a neat home for the first and last time, complete with perfectly-arranged hipster music magazines. You shared your love of bad movies like Dirty Dancing with me, while I made you watch such classics as Star Wars and Mannequin.
I wanted children one day, and knowing that, Quinn was born in 2011. Your first words upon seeing him – “I love him!” – will forever be the happiest moment in my life. You took to being a mother like a natural. Visitors washed their hands thoroughly on fear of banishment, there was a mandated daily outdoors time for all of us, and soon we started buying organic products on the off-chance that eating non-organic foods would lead to the end of Quinn’s potential Nobel-prize winning future.
Everything that Quinn is today is because of you. When he talks, when he looks at me, when he rides his little orange scooter down the sidewalk, he does so with that undeniable Bridget flair and love of life. Even his occasional Netflix-binges remind me of you. And at night, when I kiss him goodnight and he tells me he loves me, I hear your voice saying it too, the way you told me the first time you said those words.
When I told you the midwives’ fears about Marshall minutes after his birth, the anguish and sorrow in your eyes broke my heart. As much as I will never forget your first words after Quinn’s birth, I will similarly never forget the worry in your face at that moment. I wish I could have spared you that distress.
While I cried and felt sorry for myself for the next few days, you soaked up information about our new baby, you started to advocate for him without even knowing what to ask for, and you loved him without question while I was too scared to show him any tenderness. I was so proud of the way you carried yourself in the face of so much uncertainty. My love for you only grew during that time.
Before our children entered our lives, you kept me afloat when I couldn’t hold myself above water. Now that we have this frightening future ahead of us, you have already set about leading our family into this uncertainty. You are tireless and fearless and your love for Quinn and Marshall is bottomless, even if Quinn can be unbearable sometimes.
I need to tell you these things here because I forget to tell you too often. There are too many days when fatigue and frustration leads painful silence, when in fact I should be telling you how great you are. Everyone who has met you (other than the occasional cyclist going the wrong way) knows how wonderful you are. They are lucky to know you, and I am privileged to be married to you. I am scared that this is the type of experience that destroys families that are not strong enough. Sometimes, I am worried that I am not strong enough to survive this, but your response is always perfect. “We have to. We don’t have a choice.”
This morning, I had coffee with an old friend who went through something similar with his child. He told me that he was happy to have had his son because he knew he could give his son the best love and family possible given the circumstances. Marshall could not have asked for a more loving mother. Whatever happens, you will always do what’s right for him. I may not always tell you so, and there will be plenty of times when I’m unbearable, angry, and distraught, but should you ever doubt how I feel, please come back and read this post.
I’m sorry to have posted this, but now you can never say I don’t love you.