I am a word person. I love reading them, hearing them, writing them, giving them, and receiving them. There's nothing like reading or posting a great quote and a card with a meaningful statement and personal note is one of the best gifts anyone can ever give me. Stringing together just the right words, bringing out the meaning in a cadence of sounds, is like music.
My husband, Brandon...none of the above. He's not a reader and he only writes when he needs to. When I read to him something wonderful I've found he rarely gives more than a smile and nod. This was hard for me for a long time. I look at the declarations of others about their loved ones, written out or spoken for all to see and admire, and wonder how two very different people ever came to be together.
Standing here, looking back at sixteen years of marriage today, I am assured of what I've already figured out. My husband doesn't need words. My husband doesn't need to make public declarations of love and appreciation because he is always in the trenches with me, 24/7. He has changed diapers and stayed home raising our three kids through all ages and stages equally. He doesn't need me to "ask permission" to got out on any given night and doesn't need me to have a curfew. He has worked as hard, through kids, multiple jobs, and a degree, all at the same time, as I have. He cooks dinner every single night because I hate to cook and takes my dogs out twice a day (early morning and late night) because I hate the cold. He never squelches my extreme love for books and the time and money I put into this passion. He gets as caught up in my students as I do and never hesitates to spend our time and money on them. The man has a work ethic. He spends his time off working when it's called for - New Year's Eve and New Year's Day he spent reroofing our shed and some maintenance on the pool. Things we get to enjoy because he is willing to do the work. Heck, for years my husband worked a combination afternoon/night shift, came home to watch three little kids during the day while I worked, slept when I came home, only to wake and go back to work that night.
As I've met more people in the past few years I've come to realize that those who have strong personalities like me, while I love them, we would kill each other if we had to live together. Those who show their passion the way I do, for things they love and care about, would drive me nuts long term. There's something about like personalities that just doesn't work in day-to-day life, which is perhaps why the things that drive you most nuts about your kids are the things they have in common with you.
I know that my husband's laid back, gentle, kind and humble ways, sensitive heart, and hard work are exactly what I need because it is these traits in him that allow me to be me. It's these traits that give me a bigger gift than any words could ever give.
Happy 16th Anniversary Braise! I love you!