Today is the celebration of your birthday. It's also the anniversary of our first real date and of you buying me that hideous drink at the decker.
About 8 years ago I took off to another country and sadly missed your birthday celebration. A few years later I had a killer birthday planned for you and then the Switzerland wrecking ball came flying through our life. So that year we sat in a british pub, drinking Canadian whisky, in Switzerland trying to not focus on the fact that you were about to start a new job and I was about to get the keys to our apartment. This year, you're the one in a different country. And that sucks. Kind of.
Let me explain.
It sucks that you're not here. Because now I'll be forced to eat cake all by myself. Yup, forced. See what you make me do! I'm going to have to go to the Migros, in the train station, not the one upstairs, the one downstairs, and get a tiny piece of cake. Like the one I got you for your birthday right after we got here. Oh the things I do for you.
But here's where the "kind of" part comes in. You're away because you're doing your job. One that you happen to be like crazy good at. I know you don't like it when I tell you're good at your job because it's the equal to your mom telling you you're cool (for the record, your mom thinks you're cool.) But you ARE good at your job. You got to this incredible place of being an international raconteur and adventurer because you're good at what you do. This will keep you in dinner parties for YEARS! Years I tell you.
I sometimes forget you're kind of important. This usually happens after I've had to wipe up your spilled coffee you forgot about or suppressed the urge to stab you with the butter knife you left out and didn't put in the dishwasher. When you come home and tell me that you spent your morning facilitating a meeting between China and Russia I usually remember that the boy I married who graduated high school with the same 15 kids he went to kindergarten with is kind of a big deal. It's not like I don't know that the work you do is important (and so very needed) I just having trouble accepting you as an important piece of that work.
But then I help you unpack after a trip and you come home with tokens of appreciation from the places you've been. You tell me about the people you met, the things you saw and the culture shock. I find your business cards just lying around. They say expert. And it's in those moments I realize, "whoa, you are in fact changing the world!" And that makes me super proud.
I have many many wishes for you on your birthday.
I wish you decent internet connections in the countries you find yourself in.
I wish you many moment that are as cool as feeding a lemur a banana.
I wish you short layovers but no mad dashes through airports.
I wish you decent hotels with air conditioning.
I wish you adventures as mind blowing as that wedding you attended in Bangladesh.
I wish you moments of calm like one you had in Mysore on the balcony of your hotel room.
I wish you quick hangover recovery if you ever find yourself at party like the one you attended in Kyrgyzstan.
I wish you happy memories of your favourite person ever as you set foot in countries your Uncle once set foot in.
I wish you amazing treasure hunts as you find things for your godchildren and niece in markets, malls and sometimes airports.
I wish you many more adventures in many more weird and wonderful countries.
I wish you safe travels as you make your way home to me.
Happy birthday cute boy in the hilarious t-shirt from a small town I had never heard of.
that girl from the city you married
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