Yesterday was my birthday; I turned the ripe young age of forty-four. Yesterday was also my twenty-second wedding anniversary. That means that, as of today, I have been married for more of my life than not.
Age is a bizarre thing. We often joke that children attach so much more importance to their birthdays because each passing year is, for them, a much greater proportion of their entire lives. But I think that maybe as children we get it right: those years are so much more important to who we end up becoming than the years after. My personality was molded far more in the first half of my life than in the second; in that first half I transitioned from pre-conscious toddler to semi-conscious child to questing adolescent to quasi-adult; the second half isn’t marked by a fraction as much metamorphosis. I still think of myself as the same person as I was on my wedding day — you might say that I envision myself as a twenty-two-year-old who got older, instead of an improbable forty-four-year-old who himself has a twenty-one-year-old son. Or, as I sometimes say, “I’m sure my father was a lot older when he was my age.”
But for the incremental refinements which I have undergone in the second half (so far) of my life, I have to thank my beautiful wife. I had no idea when I asked her to marry me just how right and good a thing that would be for me. Heck, I know I still don’t realize how much good she does me; I calcified too much before our wedding to absorb as much of her good influence as there is to be absorbed.
Which is all a roundabout way of saying: All my love, Michele. You were, continue to be, and will be always my best birthday gift.