Today is Karim’s 26th birthday. Last year, I wrote 25 things I love about her. I thought about doing the same (plus one more) today, but as I re-read that post, it made me think about this past year and what we’ve been through since then. And I admit that I cried a bit. You see, 2012 was an exhausting, difficult year filled with tears. It was also a joyous year filled with laughter and happiness. One year ago Sofía was just four (almost five) months old. Karim was working part time, and I was just getting used to being a part-time stay-at-home-dad. Life was incredible. We finally had the beautiful and curious baby girl we’d longed and planned for, lived in a wonderful home, were making plans for a big trip (research and vacation) to England in the Fall, and had a five year plan: finish school, find a job, get settled, watch Sofía grow up for 2-3 years, and then try to have another baby.
One year ago we found out that Karim was pregnant again. We cried. It was not what we’d planned. It interfered with some of our other plans. It meant we wouldn’t have the time with Sofía that we so desperately wanted after waiting so long for her to finally join our family. It meant changing travel plans and readjusting the timetable for completing the PhD. It was, in short, hard. I know it sounds selfish, and we’re painfully aware of what it’s like for those unable to have children. We were there ourselves for awhile and have shed tears with close friends and family members going through it all. But finding out Karim was pregnant again was hard. It was emotionally draining for me, and for Karim it was 10 times worse, at least.
And then Joaquín was born. And Karim was happy again. Which isn’t to say that she’d been unhappy throughout the pregnancy—she hadn’t. She worked hard and was, by the end, excited to welcome another child into our family. But fears remained. When he was born, her fears that she would not love him quickly dissipated. Her fears that she wouldn’t have time for both children went away. And watching her through the entire process has made me love her more.
One year later, we’re in a very different place: both emotionally and geographically. We have two children now, twice an many diapers, twice as many sleepless nights, and twice as many smiles, laughs, and learning opportunities. We’re currently in Dallas, staying with my family for another couple of weeks while I complete a fellowship at SMU. The next 4 or 5 months we’ll be living out of suitcases, traveling from one state to the next, and from one country to the next.
We might very well be crazy for doing it all with two children under 18 months.
But there’s no one else I’d rather be doing it with. You’re my best friend, Karim. And so, in addition to the 25 things I named last year, let me just add this one this year:
- I love you because you’ve grown in strength, endurance, and love over the past year. I don’t remember what life was like before you and I can’t imagine my life now or in the future without you. I love you.