At 1:36 in the afternoon on a summer’s day not too long in the past, a girl came into the world who loved people. Three minutes later she was followed into the world by her brother who, after having spent nine months cuddled up next to her, was the first person she loved.
It wasn’t long, however, before the girl found other people to love. There was her mommy, for example, who was always there with a kiss, cuddle, or diaper change.
There was also her father, who entertained the girl with funny faces and a mustache that boldly proclaimed, “I am a man of the 1970s.”
As much as the girl loved these three people, she found that she still had room in her heart to love more. She made her grandmother the next recipient of her love, and grandma lovingly baked delicious treats in return.
Now the girl had four people she loved, but she wasn’t going to stop there. She had too many aunts, uncles, cousins, and family friends to love as well.
Luckily a day came when the girl and her brother were packed into Eighties-style clothes and sent to school where she met classrooms full of people she could love. For the next twelve years she opened her heart to just about every kid who crossed her path, and often commemorated these wonderful friends by taking horribly awkward teenage photos.
On graduation day she looked around and found that she still had room in her heart for more people, so she packed up her things (leaving behind her Debbie Gibson posters) and went to college. There she made even more wonderful friends to love, and often raised a glass in their honor.
One night, while singing at a karaoke bar with her brother and some friends, she happened upon a boy who caught her eye (on account of his awesomeness). Despite already having so many friends and family members who she loved, the girl decided that she had room in her heart for one more.
A few years later the girl and this boy got married, and danced the night away high above Los Angeles with so many of those people the girl (and boy) loved.
Later that year the girl, upon remembering how happy she was growing up with her family, decided that she could love even more people and start a family of her own. She welcomed into her home a “puppy baby,” a ball of fluff who to this day follows the girl around like her shadow.
Not long after that the girl and boy welcomed an amazing baby named Maddie into their lives.
Maddie needed a little extra love, but luckily the girl still had lots and lots of room left in her heart, and gave Maddie so much of it that the two were forever linked no matter where the fates may have taken them.
In time another amazing baby arrived, this time named Annie, and the girl found that she could give Annie an equally ginormous part of her heart.
Even after loving so many people the girl still wanted to love more, so she opened her computer and made friends with all kinds of incredible people from all over the world.
Today – exactly thirty-three years after she first came into this world – the girl (now a woman) will wake on her birthday to find this post from the boy (now a man with a spare tire). He’s hoping that, instead of finding it cheesy, she will see it as a tribute from someone who cherishes her for loving so deeply and so often, and for always finding a little more space in her heart for those she meets along the way.
Happy Birthday, Sweetheart. Thank you for opening your heart to this big lug and loving me (and our girls) as fiercely as you do. We love you. (P.S. I also got you presents and cake.)