Hello Friends of Melissa (hereafter FOM),
This is the DH writing (I believe that’s what she calls me, right?). Why am I writing here? Why am I intruding upon her personal cyberspace? Because tomorrow is Melissa’s 35th birthday, and sneaking onto her blog and posting a birthday note to her, and to all you FOM, is one of the few things I can imagine that might, just might, surprise her. And Melissa loves surprises, even though they also drive her nuts.
I’m not going to embarrass her or anyone else here. Melissa’s done a few of those “five things you never would have guessed about me” memes after all, and thus there probably isn’t really very much left unsaid that I could scandalize her with here anyway. (Well, no, that’s not really true; there are some things about her which I suspect haven’t been mentioned on this blog, and I suppose I could write about those. But I won’t because, this is a family-family website and all. I mean, her and my Mom are both regular readers.) So instead, I’ll go the maudlin and appreciative route.
Melissa’s been writing out her thoughts and opinions of books on this website for nearly three years now. She started out thinking that blogging was just a somewhat more efficient way to do what she was already doing on our old website–namely, just keeping track of books she’d read, maybe including brief reviews of them for the sake of reminder her of what she thought. She never imagined she’d ever have, y’know, readers herself…and when all you FOM started to show up, she really didn’t know what do with you. But she caught on soon enough. And she caught something more too: a vision of herself, of her future, and of a contribution she could make to others. She’s mentioned this before here, but let me just say it again: this blog helped her, as we slowly brought the whole “growing family” stage of our lives to an end and started working on just keeping the kids growing and adequately fed, figure out what she loved to do, what she was good at, what she had to offer as her 30s and 40s loomed before her. For some reason (maybe because of all the time she spent hanging out with my friends when we were first married and went off to graduate school) Melissa spent years often feeling like the young and inexperienced one in any given crowd; this blog, and all of you, helped her see her own grown-up and educated and competent self a little more clearly. So thanks for all that, on this auspicious occasion.
And 35 is fairly auspicious, I think. Maybe not as auspicious as turning 40, but it’s getting there. Halfway to the Biblical three-score plus ten, anyway. I hit that mark a few years back, and just about every day I’m reminded of all the reasons I have to be grateful for Melissa for being my companion up through that point, and now beyond it. There’s been some rough years along with the good ones, that’s for certain; but through it all she’s been kind, loving, (mostly) forgiving, and my best friend, as well as still the most attractive woman I know. I don’t want to even pretend to be able to predict what accomplishments and insights her next 35 years will bring to her, but I’m excited by them nonetheless, because I know she’ll share them with me and our children…and knowing her, probably with all of you, too. Because that’s the sort of person she is.
Melissa doesn’t post many pictures of herself here, I don’t believe, which is too bad, because she’s a looker. Anyway, here’s a recent photo of her, as usual maintaining her dignity even as her DH unceremoniously mauls her. Sorry if it’s a little fuzzy, Melissa; it’s 11:55pm, and I can’t quite figure out how to work the scanner.
Oh, and happy birthday.