As you may recall from Jaime’s recent post, 40, I am not the only one in our little family to reach the four decade mark this year. I’m not sure if Jaime has worked up the courage to identify himself as a 40-year-old yet, but as of today, he is! Welcome, partner!
I was strictly forbidden to make a fuss over this big birthday. Jaime doesn’t like to be fussed over. So we will be having a quiet celebration today which unfortunately includes an evening school activity for Lucas. Being the first-rate father he is, Jaime will likely be sweating away with hundreds of people in the multi-purpose room at our local elementary, wondering if he’ll be deaf after this evening along with the rest of us. Maybe not the way he thought he’d spend his 40th birthday when he was 20, but at least we’ll be together. I think we’ll be able to squeeze in lunch out and some gifts as well.
What follows is just a *small* fuss, not a big one. I wanted to share some of my favorite things about Jaime on this momentous birthday. I’ve known him since we were 12 so I have a few years of experience to draw on. I have to say, he just keeps getting better. Without further ado, I present, 40 wonderful things about Jaime!
- He is really funny! He makes me laugh all the time and can tease Lucas out of almost any bad mood with his crazy antics (pretending to fall out of his chair, doing silly dances, talking in funny voices, etc).
- He has a temper too (Lucas…apple…tree…), but he’s very quick to apologize and admit when he’s wrong which I love. And honestly, the occasional heated discussion keeps things interesting.
- Jaime’s hair has a personality of its own. I just recently met someone at church who said, “Oh, your husband is the one with the hair.” You would think that a statement like that wouldn’t narrow down the pool of husbands by much (I mean, most have at least some hair and the guy didn’t even use an adjective!), but everyone knew exactly who he meant. I do love his hair and its personality.
- He’s a good listener. (As long as Real Madrid isn’t playing 😉 ).
- He’s generous.
- He’s helpful.
- He’s also forgetful! But that is one of those things that Lucas and I laugh about, poor ‘ol dad and his forgetfulness. We pretty much love it.
- CDs and DVDs must be straight in their cases. And alphabetized if at all possible.
- Jaime likes all these weird bands and musical groups no one has ever heard of. I don’t know why, but I find that endearing.
- Jaime likes clothes and clothes shopping more than I do. He choses most of Lucas’s clothes and any hand-me-downs we get have to pass his inspection. Shoes are of special importance. I mean, we can’t have our son out there wearing uncool shoes now, can we?
- Jaime loses everything and can’t see what’s right in front of his face. Why is this making the list of things I love you ask? Because after all these years, it’s so much a part of him it has become lovable. Hearing the words “have you seen my [insert whatever he needed five minutes ago in order to leave on time]” will always give me a sense of purpose in life.
- He says he doesn’t like people, which makes me laugh. The truth is he doesn’t really like meeting new people and feels he has plenty of friends already. But he’s a great friend to the ones he already has and accidentally makes new friends regularly.
A responsible adult:
- Jaime has a lot of jobs…a “normal” job, a job coaching soccer, church responsibilities, and extra household duties to help support our family due to my limitations. He does it all without feeling sorry for himself.
- On top of the aforementioned things and his crazy schedule, Jaime does most of the routine yard work now that I can’t do things like mow the lawn or rake the leaves. I’m not saying he does it exactly when the rest of the neighborhood does it, or that the neighbors haven’t occasionally raised an eyebrow at the length of our grass, but in the end, he always gets it done!
- Jaime does all the grocery shopping. No further elaboration needed. What’s not to love?!
- Jaime cooks a lot too and he’s really good at it.
- He washes, dries, and folds laundry. Sometimes he puts laundry away 😉 .
- He bakes all our sandwich bread. This often happens after Lucas is in bed at night and sometimes after I’m in bed too because of all the other stuff he does. Lucas is very spoiled with the homemade bread and if we ever buy a loaf from the store, he will ask when he can have the good kind again.
- Jaime is a really good coach. He’s good with the kids and good with the parents (both of which are important). He thinks he’s not a patient person but after seeing him wrangle a large group of wild Kindergarten boys at soccer practice week after week last year, I beg to differ. (Imagine trying to keep a bunch of loaded springs in a small container.)
An amazing Father:
- Lucas and Jaime are extremely close. This is because, from day one, Jaime pitched in as an equal partner in his care.
- Jaime is very generous with his time as a dad. Even though he has a million other things to do, he volunteers to coach Lucas’s soccer team so they can have that time together and because Lucas really, REALLY wants Jaime as his coach. He also takes time off work to attend class parties and go on field trips when he can.
- Jaime is selfless too. I can’t count the number of games of chase, wrestling, fighting, tickle monster, and other similarly exhausting-for-a-40-year-old-but-exhilarating-for-a-seven-year-old games that Jaime has engaged in after a long day at work and soccer. I know it’s not easy and I really love that he does it anyway.
- He’s willing to play almost anything with Lucas. “OK Dad, I’ll be Batman and you be Catwoman. Dad, Catwoman says ‘Meow, meow’ after everything she says and make sure you use a high voice, ok?” Jaime is not too proud to meow in a high voice.
- Jaime and Lucas still snuggle in bed together every night. I’m not sure who loves it more. It’s very sweet.
- Jaime’s usually very patient with Lucas. When Lucas loses his cool Jaime will say, “I remember what that felt like as a kid,” or “I used to hate that so much, too.” Showing empathy and sharing stories from his own childhood help Lucas work through some of his fears and frustrations.
- Jaime and Lucas share a lot of the same interests, but definitely not all. Jaime is good about letting Lucas pursue his own interests without trying to mold him into a carbon copy.
A loving and supportive husband:
- Jaime likes to do special things for me. He picks out thoughtful gifts, he plans surprises when I need to be cheered up, he makes birthdays and holidays memorable. By some combination of nature and nurture, he’s passed these qualities on to Lucas, so I feel very loved!
- Jaime has never once made me feel guilty for all the extra work he does or the financial, emotional and physical strain my cystic fibrosis places on him. He accepts it, sees meeting those challenges as part of who God has called him to be, and does an awesome job bearing the extra weight. I’d be so lost without him!
- He still wants to spend time with me which I love. He’s always inviting me to come have lunch with him or asking if I want to go out on the weekend. At bedtime I often hear him tell Lucas, “I can only snuggle for ten minutes because then I need to go and see Mommy for a little while.”
- He’s good at encouraging me. When I feel like my life or my health is falling apart, he’s ready with examples of why he thinks I’m doing well and ways he thinks I’m doing a good job managing. If I’m nervous about a doctor’s appointment, he’ll find a way to come with me.
- He’s encouraging but also realistic. He doesn’t try to cheer me up or sweep my pain under the rug with platitudes or empty promises of “I know this will get better.” He dwells in the hurt with me when I need him there. He also revels in the victories with me and celebrates the joys. He’s a true partner in life, for better and for worse.
- He has a lot of confidence in me which gives me more confidence in myself.
Lucas’s list (I asked him what he loved most about Daddy and here are his responses.)
- Daddy is my coach and plays soccer with me. We also watch soccer together.
- He takes me on adventures!
- He loves me.
- He watches shows with me.
- He takes me trick-or-treating.
- He packs my lunch on school days (I can’t believe I forgot to add this one to my list!!)
- I like doing homework with Dad. (Like doing homework? Again, apple…tree)
- He lets me chase him around.
I promise this all adds up to equal 40. (The numbering is not cooperating). The point is, Jaime is a wonderful man. He is God’s gift to me and to Lucas, and to many others as well.
Happy Birthday, Jaime! I hope this decade is your best yet. It won’t be dull, that I can promise. We love you so much!