Today you are 40. I’m married to a 40 year old man. This is both shocking and comforting to me.
Do you remember yesterday when we were just 20-somethings with our adventure still in front of us and we had no idea what was coming? I do. In fact, I remember just yesterday – literally – when we were both in our 30s and still had this big adventure out in front of us.
Now, on this day, you are 40.
Yes, I’m going to keep on saying it, because I’m younger than you and I can say that you are in your 40s now and I’m still…not.
However, you are now able to say this:
I’m sure you needed that.
You don’t look like you’re 40. You sure as hell don’t act like you’re 40. There is nothing about you at all that says that you’ve aged in anyway. Except that stupid calendar. OH! And your heart.
Yes, your heart has aged. Not the actual blood-pumping organ that is keeping you alive and that is as young as it can possibly be….I mean your HEART. The one that has learned to love unselfishly. The heart that has grown 10 fold since we met, even though I thought that your big heart was already the best thing about you. The heart that doesn’t give one crap about things and cares an awful lot about people. The heart that pulls me into your lap and dries my tears when I feel overwhelmed and under appreciated. The heart that does the same for your kids that adore you. The heart that has been hurt by family and friends and…me. Yes, me. I know that I have hurt your heart, but each time we make it through and your heart is stronger because of that.
At 40, your heart has aged, because it’s not just caring for you anymore. It’s been working hard caring for so many other people in your life. It’s been protecting our kids from boo-boos, name calling, and the dangers of growing up. It’s been cushioning the failures we all make on a daily basis. It’s been encouraging us to pick ourselves up and keep going.
At 40, you have learned to let go of all the crap that surrounds you when you are younger. You’ve fought your way out of the trap of being like everyone else and have made your own way.
At 40, you know by now that toughness does not matter to a real man. You know by now that it’s the people and how you interact with them that matters. Yes, you are tough when you need to be. I’ve seen it. I appreciate it. I know it’s there. I have no fear about being unprotected or vulnerable to danger when you are near. You are not the guy who would ever start a fight – you are the guy who would finish it. Your heart is soft, but strong.
At 40, you know things you didn’t know when you were younger. You know by now to not stare at the pretty 20 something with a nice butt when I’m standing right there beside you. You know that my jeans never make me look fat. You know that “Yep…cereal without milk sounds great for dinner.” These little bits of wisdom have aged your heart…making it more compassionate to my feelings.
And at 40, my dear sweet young man, you have made our hearts stronger because of all your heart that you have given to us.
I wanted to post this – and hopefully not embarrass you – because there are times in a woman’s life when she needs to make sure her husband knows that he is the most important person in the world to her. Not her kids. Not her parents. Not her job. Not anything else…just him and his heart that he has so carefully entrusted to her.
So…let’s make some Long Island Iced Teas, watch some football, and celebrate you getting older. I’m so glad you’re 40.
And even more glad that I’m not.
I love you. But you knew that.
Your sweet wife
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