When I texted Erik this morning to wish him a happy birthday, he replied, "Oh yeah, thanks for reminding me."
I guess no one served cake and sang to him in Wisconsin.
At this time of year there's no week he can travel where he won't miss someone's birthday, so he usually chooses his own. And that's indicative of Erik's entire personality-- he doesn't go for a big fuss, presents or flowers (not even for my birthday, so I shop my myself)-- he's simply good and happy every day.
Kids gather around him. I think because he's funny, clever and doesn't mind a mess.
A friend asked Erik, "What do you do when your kids talk back to you?"
He answered, "I listen."
Every time I run down to the basement for another box of Kleenexes or can of kidney beans, I bless him name. He studies the Costco coupon book and keeps us stocked. And you'd better believe there's a case of Nutella down there too.
Erik can't resist little ones and always takes more than his share of baby time. "You're a baby pig." Gabe complained.
"No." he replied, "I'm a full grown daddy pig."
I fell in love with Erik for many reasons (and married him 22 years ago last Thursday), but I couldn't have known what an incredible father he'd become and I couldn't have guessed all the adventures and heartbreaks and learning we'd do together. I love that he'll tell me when I'm wrong and cheers me on when I come up with a wild, crazy idea-- let's build a chicken coop, make a movie, paint the music room, hang a gallery on the stairs!
Most of all I just love him. Happy birthday my love, I look forward to every year to come.