I remember making Luis a birthday card when he turned 23 — we had been dating not quite a year, and he had just graduated from the Naval Academy as a foreign national and was about to move back to El Salvador to serve his country.
I was working at a summer camp, and used construction paper to make a home-made card with a sailboat on the cover with the number 23. If I’m remembering correctly, I tucked his birthday card in his suitcase (he moved back 7/7/01; his birthday is 7/12). Since he has saved all my cards and the love letters we exchanged over the years while we were in an international long-distance relationship, I’m sure that sailboat card is around here somewhere.
Today, we’ve been married for nearly 6 years, have a beautiful daughter, and he no longer a foreign national; he’s an American citizen. And today he turned 34! We celebrated with presents and snuggles, a lunch date, then a family walk after work and a delicious cupcake split three ways with Maya “singing” along to “Happy Birthday” (read as: baby babble). Then tomorrow night we are doing something special for a date night/birthday treat before I leave Saturday morning for a girls’ weekend in Chicago.
I won’t get all mushy and sentimental here on my blog — but I will say this: our love has grown and strengthened over time. We’ve grown up, grown together, grown into our own people, and grown a person together! Our life isn’t always easy, and it’s far from perfect. But it’s ours, and there’s truly no one I’d rather be on this journey with than you.
I love you, Luis. TQM. Happy Birthday, my love!