I Love You Because

Scott and I celebrated our sixth wedding anniversary this past Sunday, and we both completely forgot. Thankfully, Scott’s sister Ann had the date confused and called us a day early to wish us many more years of wedded bliss. Ordinarily I’d be irate with Scott for his forgetfulness but it was my own father who had to remind me of the important date just a week before. If it weren’t for our thoughtful family members, Scott and I would be caught in a time warp where each year seemed to be taking forever.

So, with only a few days to prepare and a clingy 18-month-old who caught a bad head cold from some germy kid at the library, I scrambled together my idea for a meaningful anniversary gift to give to my loving and absent-minded husband of 2,190 days.

And this is what I came up with:

Rainey personally delivered a card from me to Scott with a pin taped to the inside cover that read, “Here’s a pin! Pop each balloon and inside you’ll find the reasons why I love you so much!” Earlier that afternoon, while Scott watched a football game on TV, Rainey and I locked ourselves in her room and rolled up tiny pieces of paper with the reasons written on them, put each one in a balloon, and blew them up as if I were a human helium tank.

Here, minus the sound effect of over 50 popping balloons, and in no particular order, are just a few of those reasons:

I love you because you have a kind, soft voice.

I love you because even your armpits smell pleasant.

I love you because you say my name with tenderness in any conversation.

I love you because you have a loud, hearty laugh.

I love you because you have great taste in women.

I love you because you have inviting, kissable lips.

I love you because you love to travel, even if it’s just to the local DQ to fetch me a Blizzard.

I love you because you patiently tolerate me asking a hundred questions during a movie.

I love you because you make up goofy songs that lull Rainey to sleep.

I love you because you have an uncompromising belief, trust and love for God that isn’t popular or easy to express in our society.

I love you because you cuddle with our cat.

I love you because you have eyes the color of lima beans. (Sorry about the lame metaphor. I just found one on the seat of Rainey’s pants, and to be honest, I’m still feeling a little light-headed from inflating a few dozen balloons).

I love you because you let the dogs out in the middle of the night when one of them has to go potty.

I love you because you designed a beautiful, one-of-a-kind engagement ring for me and waited patiently for almost a year for me to accept it.

I love you because you can fix anything, even if you’re the one who broke it in the first place.

I love you because you change Rainey’s diaper when it’s about as pleasant as, well, changing Rainey’s diaper.

I love you because you’re a sucker for a challenge, an adventure, and a romantic comedy.

I love you because you care about my happiness not your own self-preservation.

I love you because you can lift really heavy things.

I love you because you think I’m talented, funny, and pretty first thing in the morning.

I love you because you always say, “I love you,” and mean it before you hang up the phone with me.

I love you because you always let me have the window seat when we fly.

I love you because you know the answers to my questions about history, politics, science, and a thousand other topics.

I love you because you took me to the beach on our honeymoon, even though you turned a cruel shade of lobster in the sun.

I love you because you pay our bills on time.

I love you because you let me drive the nice car while you drive the one with 220,000 miles and an oil leak.

I love you because I can be my irrational, gassy, mustache-bleaching self with you.

I love you because you scoop the dog poop and cut the grass almost every other week.

I love you because you can find your way anywhere just by looking at a map. I, on the other hand, need a GPS system just to figure out which direction to go inside a shopping mall.

I love you because you make Rainey laugh more than you make her cry.

I love you because you pumice, massage, and properly lubricate my feet.

I love you because you treat your parents and mine with respect.

I love you because you eat whatever I cook, even if you didn’t like it the last three times I made it.

I love you because when I’m tired from a full day of taking care of our tantrum-prone toddler, and I’m tempted to resent the demands made on me as a mother, and I begin to believe the horrible lie that my life exists only to watch others succeed and live fun, exciting, and stress-free lives, you gently remind me that “motherhood is not a death sentence.”

I love you because you take our trash to the dump to save us a few bucks and to save me from puking in the car on the way.

I love you because you work hard every day so that I can play hard with Rainey, and you wouldn’t mind a bit if the roles were reversed.

I love you because you make playing ice hockey look really easy, and you look really good doing it.

I love you because you seek my forgiveness and offer me grace as often as necessary.

I love you because you think public service is nothing less than an honor, a privilege, and your personal duty.

I love you because you feel my forehead and check to see if my glands are swollen when I’m acting like a hypochondriac.

I love you because you make me want to be a better person.

I love you because you have the curiosity of a child. I don’t know who’s more fun to shop for in a toy store, you or Rainey.

I love you because you never make fun of me, even if you’re frequently the target of my teasing, often on your own daughter’s Web site.

I love you because you’re not afraid of changing your plans, your scenery, or your personal habits when they annoy the crap out of me.

I love you because you think tater tots, rice, and spaghetti served together is a well-balanced meal.

I love you because you are perfectly content with what you already have.

I love you because you help me realize that having a child not only redefines but also magnifies a million times what it means to give and receive love.

I love you because your friendship assures me that if you had to do it all over again, if you had to relive every messy and miserable moment of the past six years, you would still choose me.

I really love you for that.

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