Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Men do get better with age.

Not that I've ever for a day thought that Buzz wasn't a wonderful man, but I've known him for 10 years of his life, and I've seen him become a better man than he was when I met him.

1999: We meet, he tutors me in chemistry, and we become friends. He’s nice.

2000: He sends an embarrassingly beautiful display of flowers to the photo lab where I work. I take him rollerskating. He falls and breaks his back. Two days later, he tells me he loves me. He claims his painkillers were the ones doing the talking.

2001: We go to Las Cruces, New Mexico for a spring break trip. We’re standing in the Organ Mountains and he hands me a diamond ring. A couple months later, he marries me, a 21-year-old, barely-knows-what-she’s-doing-still-in-college girl. We’re crazy in love, though, so we do it. I stand barefoot by a lake in Mississippi as he looks me in the eye and says, “I do.”

2002: Less than a year later, we are shocked to find out I’m pregnant. A few weeks later, we learn the baby has died in the womb. I see him cry for the first time. Then, two weeks later, I graduate college and we move from Alabama to Texas.

2003: I finish grad school, and we try to plan the rest of our lives. We decide to move to the Austin area for my job.

2004: I move without him so that he can finish his teaching contract. Six-weeks later, I’m shocked to find out I’m pregnant. I tell him on the telephone. Despite his queasy, weak stomach, he stands by me through 24+ hours of labor and childbirth, with all its gross stuff. We welcome Spark into our lives in November.

2005: We go to New Orleans, and he saves my life. We celebrate with an insanely expensive steak dinner.

2006: He grows into a wonderful dad, showing our son how to pray, how to be a man, and how to buy Mommy flowers.

2007: We decide to have another baby. Our first planned pregnancy comes with one try. Without blinking, he goes to Taco Bell in his pajamas at 11 p.m. when I say I’m craving a Nachos Bell Grande.

2008: Again, he stands by me through labor and childbirth. We welcome Flower into our lives in April.

2009: I watch him fight tears as he delivers an amazing eulogy for his grandmother. Today, I celebrate the beginning of his 37th year of life.

Happy Birthday, darling.

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