Happy ‘Something Something’ Birthday Andi

What – you thought I was going to reveal my wife’s age in print?!?!? Sorry pal, but I value my life. Plus, somebody has to do their part to insure chivalry reigns in this text-crazed society. So, all you need to know is that today is my wife’s ‘Something Something’ Birthday.

But if it’s absolutely killing you, you could always hit up my pal Justin who shares the exact same Born-on-Date as mi amor. And here’s where I kill two birds with one stone. Happy Thirty Eighth Birthday Justin!!!

It’s become a bit of an Ed Zone tradition in these parts. Each year I dedicate a few paragraphs of prose to pay tribute to my nearest and dearest – our immediate family. February 11th kick-starts the annual run down – as each of us turns a new year older in the first half of the year. By June, we’re done and have a long six-month wait before any more presents are opened in this house.

But beginning with today, we’re off on a four month birthday cruise. Today is Andi’s special day. Followed by Abby in April, Colin/Chatham/Aria in May and me in June.

But they’ll have their day.

Today it’s all about Andrea – or Andi, as most of her friends and wonderful husband know her best.

I know I’ve said this before but it bears repeating. I am in continuous awe at the shear amount of things Andi gets done on a daily basis. Although this was the proverbial “light at the end of the tunnel” year where both kids were firmly away at school for a full day/5 times per week session of structured learning – Andi’s schedule has somehow grown more full.

Of course, that’s the same girl I first met and fell in love almost 15 years ago. She’s always getting involved and filling each open hour of the day with more and more activities. She lives and loves to be connected.

And with kids in our lives, the rewards for making that connection are great – meaning although she says goodbye to Colin and Aria at the bus stop each morning, content that they are in safe hands in our amazing school district, Andi has cherished the opportunity to volunteer at both schools on a continuous weekly basis.

A couple days a week, she can be found volunteer staffing the library at both schools or pinch-hitting in their classrooms to assist with the various activity centers. I’ve enjoyed the opportunity to help out before and I’ve seen how demanding it can be; helping Colin and Aria’s classmates on whatever activity is at hand. But the spark in their eyes – as they share in their days’ important activities – is worth the time commitment – and it’s an experience that they get to have alongside their beloved Mama each and every week.

Added to that is the usual rundown of household activities (the chores, the shopping, the cooking and cleaning) which then makes way for the various after school activities including Aria’s dance lessons and Colin’s karate.

I know it’s the same structured chaos that most nuclear families thrive in but there’s something about being immersed in your own personal blend that really makes you step back and stare in awe at the person picking up the slack while I am away at work.

She humbles and inspires me daily.

That’s why my fondest birthday wish is for my wife to find those little moments to slow things down and enjoy a moment’s pause.  She’s certainly earned it.

More importantly, while it’s her birthday today, it feels like I’m the one who is richly rewarded. After all, once upon a time, Andi took a chance on me and made me her fella’ and her presence in my life is that proverbial “gift that keeps on giving”.

Happy Birthday Andi. I love you, always – (even when you try to smash my head in with a pumpkin.)

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