Until the night the camera's flashed and this beautiful woman held out her hand to dance. That day everything got turned upside down for me. I used to have control. I knew who I was and what women liked and wanted. This girl was something different to me. She made me nervous.
I was so nervous when I started dating her that I had to make an actual game plan. I bought a new wardrobe (which garnered the dreaded green sweater). I changed my 3-5 day policy to like 18 hours before I called her. I wanted her to like me. I didn't actually believe I was much, but I wanted her to think I was.
I think she did. Not because I had fooled her, but because she saw something in me. She saw potential. There are very few people at that time that saw potential in me.
We dated for a year before I proposed. We spent most of that time driving around. On our first date, I took her to the cider mill, then to the train tracks that I used to talk to the homeless in. I gave her a hundred reasons to leave and not look back. She didn't leave...except this one time we broke up for 19 minutes over the phone. She was in my driveway the whole time. We hung up on each other, then in desperation called back. We decided to be together forever and she made the 17 second journey to my door. We have never been separated more than those 17 seconds since.
She doesn't think much of herself most days. She always underestimates just how beautiful and wonderful she is. I think that is my favorite thing about her. And also my least favorite. She is so humble to let me lead, yet so blind to what she means to this entire world, especially the world living 17 seconds within her reach.
Today I tried to give my wonderful wife the best birthday she has had because I really appreciate all the hard work she does to keep us all together and happy. At the end of the day, I just felt like writing about her.
She is my inspiration. She is that voice inside me that tells me to stop underestimating myself. She is the first person to call BS when I am feeling sorry for myself. She is also the first to catch my tears when things have gone badly.
Laura, happy birthday. Thank you for marrying me. Thank you for Caeden and Aevry. Thank you for watching me struggle and fail and finally succeed. Thank you for being the best woman I've ever known.
Thanks for reading...Z