Today is twenty years since our "for better" began.
Twenty years of adventures of all kinds.
We were so excited to be parents, one of life's greatest adventures.
And then, unexpectedly, "for worse" was upon us. I cried for days, weeks, months. You'd say, "Honey, look at him, he's beautiful." And Max was.
You were the warmest, sweetest, most big-hearted guy I'd ever met and I always knew you'd be an amazing dad. You turned out to be Superdad, there to support Max, and Super-partner, there to support me.
All new parents learn how to be a team. We quickly learned how to be Max's medical team. I researched treatments, found good specialists and therapists, and exercised Max's little muscles to get them to loosen up.
You'd play with him lots and often feed him (still true). You never hesitated to change his clothes, change his diapers, give him a bath, dash out in the middle of the night for medicine, do whatever. I'd get so distraught that Max couldn't retain food and anxious about what the future held for a child who couldn't eat or drink OK. You'd hold cups and spoons to his mouth with a smile.
We juggled the doctor appointments and therapies. Sometimes I'd take him to physical therapy at the hospital and you'd take him Thursday nights to another physical therapist or lie with him in the glass hyperbaric oxygen treatment chamber that was supposed to reinvigorate his brain, and we'd joke about how extra-smart it was going to make you. Saturday mornings were reserved for hippotherapy at Special Strides. Sunday mornings were the cranisocral therapist, followed by lunch. We'd comfort each other when we saw other babies doing their usual baby things.
Our bond was strengthened by our determination to do anything and everything within our powers for this boy.
He had your good-natured personality. And good hair!
We've always shared a love of travel, and little getaways lifted our spirits. Remember when Max ate his body weight in paté at that mountain resort?!
When Sabrina came along, you were in awe. She had you wrapped around her little finger from day one.
Once again, you proved to be an indefatigable dad, except for when you'd conk out on the couch. (File under: Some things never change, ha ha ha).
We've always found the fun.
At Disney World...
On Amelia Island...
At our Vermont farm stay...
At our favorite Jersey Shore beach...
On a Disney Cruise...
In Rhode Island...
On our babymoon in The Poconos, before our next great adventure began.
Then came Ben. And once again, your love for our children made me fall in love with you all over again.
We've shared moments of pride only the two of us can fully appreciate, like when Max had his bar mitzvah.
You make just hanging out on a couch fun.
Celebrating Sabrina's bat mitzvah
I don't know of any dad more devoted than you. There is nothing you won't do to keep our children healthy, occupied, entertained and content. How many times did you visit our local fire station with Max when he became obsessed with firefighters? How many times did you drive through the car wash when he was into them? How often have you and Max headed out for ice-cream at night? Countless.
I still can't believe you two walked across The Brooklyn Bridge.
Max's elementary school graduation. Much of his progress is because of
your encouragement, attention, love and care.
You are the most fun playmate any of our children has.
You are always there to support them, in every which way.
Our trips may have stopped this past year because of the pandemic. But we have made so many incredible memories together, and there will be many more to come.
There will be more boys' getaways, too. Maybe one of these years, the two of us will even manage to escape.
Teaching Sabrina to drive this spring: A whole other adventure. If anyone has the patience for that, it's you.
You know me better than anyone, you nurture me in every which way, and you've kept me sane throughout the pandemic. Even when we bicker, you are determined to make up because you are such the peacemaker. I will never forget watching you traipse up our attic stairs to deliver breakfast, lunch and sometimes even dinner as I work. Maybe we haven't had date nights lately, but just sitting with you, talking and watching TV never gets old. We don't, either, right? RIGHT?!
We've been through so much, and we've always been there for each other. Here's to our next twenty years together. I love you.