This has been one of those weeks - preceded by one of those months - where Erick and I seem to catch each other coming and going. A little tired. Getting rundown. Trading stories and information. Not really able to spend much time looking each other in the eye without the inevitable, "Oh, did you remember to...?"
And today is his birthday. It's a full day for us, and we won't all be home together until it's almost time for Sophia to go to bed.
But I know Erick will feel celebrated (especially when we're doing whatever he wants tomorrow) because even when we have these weeks and months, which are inevitable in the 21st century American family, they don't weaken the bond that we share. I don't have a fear that once we get the time that we need together, we'll have to start from a different place.
This year, Erick and I will officially have spent more of our lives together (17 and counting) than we spent apart (17 even). That doesn't mean, necessarily, that we cannot fail. But it means we've already failed and come back. It means we know how to cope when being made crazy by one another. It means that he knows which of the crazy shit that I say deserves a response and which deserves a chuckle and an, "I just love you."
There is never a day (I actually sat here to think about whether or not this statement was true, and it is, to the best of my failed memory.) that I am not grateful for the day Erick was born. Maybe I'm not grateful in that specificity. I'm grateful every day, and it's his birthday. Get it? I love the guy. I need him. More than that, when I have spare time to look into someone's eyes and have a conversation, I want it to be him.
So, happy birthday to my partner. Thanks for growing with and near me.