I've been feeling lost - murky - lately as I dig out from this rubble and try to find my self-worth again. But these blog entries always sort of have a fortunate "but": I say there is something beautiful in needing to rethink, reshuffle, and recalibrate in all that was lost, and this is true, but it comes down to this: I have a partner who wakes me up to that possibility every single day.
This is my belated thank you to Matt. We celebrated our five-year wedding anniversary on the 7th, and this is what I wanted to say then, but will say now (a windy, twisty love letter a few days after Father's Day for anyone to see):
First, there was this, circa 2004, posted online:
How could I not love this face? He's so darn sweet and unassuming. I mean...the HAIR!
And this is me trying to look sexy (or something, oh Kathryn), taking a self-portrait in my London dorm room. It was probably photo 30 or something. Sigh. Silly twenty-year-olds.
Matt and I met in February, 2004 on Match - have I mentioned that? Yes - online. I joined on a whim after breaking up with my college boyfriend and searched the zip code closest to my parents home (because, obviously, I had no job lined up and was trucking it back home to Pennsylvania for the summer). I went to a school where everyone was well-off, good-lucking, smug in their artsiness and just so damn blase about their lucky lot in life. That whole "We're moving to Williamsburg (Brooklyn) on our parents' dime and starting an artisan (pickle, cheese, whatever) business" before hipsters were in Brooklyn doing the same and it wasn't a tired joke. I was so exhausted with New York for that reason. I frequently said, "I just want to meet a lumberjack or a nice, nerdy guy," and then came Matt. Poof.
In typical collegiate fashion, we talked over IM and then met during our respective spring breaks. He was funny and smart, self-deprecating and sometimes shy. But always sweet. Always earnest. For example, he is a programmer and tried to teach me how to code, but I remember throwing the notebook across the room. He drives a manual and tried to teach me how to drive stick, and I remember throwing his air freshener out the window and stomping out of the car. Probably in tears - I can't recall but that sounds about right.
That first spring he came up to New York and I visited him at Penn State. I'll spare you all the gooey details, but it was easy to fall in love with this boy and if you've read this little blog you know Matt is without pretense, wholly kind, and so very good (to me, to his daughter, to everyone).
It's sometimes hard for me to take his kindness and sincerity to heart: for instance, this pregnancy hasn't been as kind on me in terms of fatigue, weight gain, and I've been having difficulty sleeping. "I find you absolutely beautiful," he'll say as I stick my gut out in the mirror. And what do I say? It's always something along the lines of, "Oh please, you just want to get laid," while rolling my eyes, or "Well, you better, as I'm carrying your child!" I also started laughing when Matt proposed to me and to this day have no idea what he said. Oh, and the first time he told me he loved me. (I'm a gem, what can I say?)
I've softened throughout the years - Matt is my daily dose of mellow - but I sometimes still have a way of ruining moments, and (thankfully) he still puts up with me. I hope - in my sometimes acerbic way - I feed and fuel him the way he does me.
This blog has become a scrapbook and little ode to my family - of course to Annie - but I hope it's clear that it all began with Matt, who has lifted the burden of my health woes as much as he can, held me when I cried about work, and every day tells me to relax, find my passion, and when I do, he'll be there to help me pursue it.
My world begins and ends with that boy and little girl, and the best decision I've ever made was IMing that fluffy-haired stranger one February afternoon over nine years ago.
Matt, happy belated anniversary. Happy belated Father's Day. You make our family whole.
|All photos were taken Father's Day weekend at Smith Memorial Playground in Fairmount Park, Philadelphia.|