It was my husband’s special day supposedly, and as the date of his birthday drew near I began to make plans to celebrate. I asked him what he wanted, and he had replied, “it’s okay. I don’t need anything.”
Silly man. Of course I bought him something special. Then I even went out at the last minute and got something extra. Of course I would do that.
I considered his favorite sweet flavors, and I scoured recipes searching for a cake that I thought would be just right. I used measuring cups, something I normally avoid, and I painstakingly put it all together hoping it would turn out perfect.
I had searched the card aisle for just the right sentiment, and finding the one that sounded most like us, I had scooped it up in advance. Cards were important. To me especially.
I had the children draw handmade, special birthday pictures for their dad, and I let them all sign their names. Even the ones who couldn’t spell. It was so cute.
Although it drove me a little crazy to “let them help,” I saved the last part of cake decorating for my daughters’ eager little hands. They threw chocolate chips on top of the cake. One for Dad, one for me.
I reread the card I had purchased a week before. I had trouble making out the words because my eyes were blurred. I wiped a stray sentimental tear. It was perfect. What could I possibly add?!
I placed the square, blue box, taped neatly at the corners next to the finished cake. I tilted it to catty-corner the chocolate, peanut butter dessert, and I stacked the large pile of cards in front. I was so excited.
As I looked at the results of my labors I realized something I hadn’t before. I really and truly enjoyed doing my best to make his day special, and I realized that it was because the day was so special to me. In a way I felt like it was my day, not his.
The day he was born was the day God began the story of us. I wouldn’t enter his story until nineteen years later, and we wouldn’t begin the happily ever after part for three decades or more, but it all started when he was divinely formed in his mother’s womb. Right then God knew he would be the father of my children, my best friend, and the one person on earth that I could honestly and openly share every hidden fear, every coveted dream, and every lingering hope. He was my person. And his birthday was an annual reminder of the day it all started. How could I not think that was special?
On his birthday I gave him presents because he was the best gift I had ever received. I poured out my love into my efforts on his special day because loving him every day was simply effortless. I tried to find a card with the right words because he was the right man, but sometimes words couldn’t even express just how much I cared. It was his day, but I still felt like it was all about me because I was the one who got everything I asked for when he became my partner for life. A homemade cake was the least I could do in this situation.
Perhaps it sounds too good to be true, too sappy, sentimental, or romantic. And it wasn’t that every day was perfect, that I never got mad or hurt, or even frustrated. It just meant it was worthwhile. It was full of love and joy, even in the mundane. I never felt alone, even when he was out of sight. I felt complete, I felt peace, I felt like every day was my birthday. Or at least like my wishes had come true.