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  • Kristen Kehoe

Favorite at 48.

Old Man River, it's my favorite time of year...the day you become 11 years older, just for a month. I know time doesn't work that way, but it's my post, so I get to pretend it does. Another favorite this day brings: writing you a letter.

When I was thinking of what to title this--as the site itself demands "a catchy title"--I went through all of the photos we've taken in the past 12 months, and I saw the summer beach pics, the snow pics...everything that I forget about when we are in the grind of the school year. And then I saw the video of you and Liv dancing, followed by you swimming in the snow, and then snowshoeing with Luna, and I thought, that's it, that's who he is. You're fun, Jaja. So much fun. And you make life fun, too.

I was missing words today, unsure of what to say and how to say it to you after so many words have already been shared. But then I started looking at our pictures and thinking of the things we've done, the little things like sitting in the storm while three inches of rain became nine feet of snow; or like taking a day to go skiing, the two of us, and having just as much fun on the truck ride up listening to music and drinking coffee as we did on the actual slopes. I thought about dancing in the kitchen with Liv, and eating brownies straight from the pan, and laughing when you and Liv walked in on me trying to scream my way through a bike ride, and through it all, I smiled. That's another thing about you, Old Man River, you always make me smile. I hope on your 48th birthday that I can do the same.

In honor of your day, here is the list of things I love the most about you, Jan. Things that, when I think of them, remind me how lucky Liv and I are that you are ours:

  1. You're the best at just being. If there is a lull in conversation, you do not ever feel the need to fill it.

  2. You have perspective when it comes to things that matter...and things that don't. When I'm snapping at Olivia to talk less and throw more during practice, you text me (from your spot 50 feet away:)) and tell me to leave her alone. You know that the best part of playing is the people...and she's 10. So freaking relax, Krissy. Noted.

  3. You don't have to have the epic story. We are the story for you--I feel that every day. You don't have to impress other people with what you did or where you went or how great it just have to have Liv and me, and you tell us that every day.

  4. You honor other people's emotions. This is, perhaps, the thing I admire the most. When I'm crying because I'm tired, or just because, and then Liv has a moment when she's with you, you never tell us we can't, or to stop. Sometimes you make us laugh, sometimes you give us space, but every time you give us a hug first. This matters.

  5. Finally, the way you love me is tactile, Jan, and it makes me feel so special. You hug me and kiss me and tell me you love me every single day, multiple times a day, and there is nothing I cherish more. Nothing I need more.

I hope your 48th birthday brings you all of the love you bring me and Liv every day, Jan. And I hope you know that the fun you bring to our lives is something we cherish--even when you're being a know-it-all about how to feed the dog, or geeking out on how organize the back of the truck.

Love you to the moon and beyond, Old Man River. Thanks for making life fun. Happy 48th.


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