Steve. Steven. Rooster. Maj. Boo. Dad. Daddy.
Today is the Rooster’s 46th birthday. I don’t think he minds that I tell his age since one of his favorite stories is the one where the judge told him that if he didn’t straighten up, he’d never live to see 25. Well, lucky for us he’s managed to see that plus an additional 21 and with any luck many more past this one.
- He is the nicer, kinder one of the two of us. Whereas I may be the one who sets up the social situations, he’s definitely the one who steps up to the plate once we’re there and brings it home.
- He’s never missed a birthday. Whether it was one of the girls or mine – he’s always been home. The closest he came was last year, he was in Florida helping a friend recover from donating a kidney. He was supposed to be home on December 22nd but managed to be home the day before my birthday which was on the 17th. This may not seem like much, but birthdays are a big deal in our house (because I insist on it) so it’s important to him.
- He’s hardly ever missed one of the kid’s games or performances. There have been a couple of exceptions to this, but not many. He knows the girls count on us to be there and it’s important to him. No matter how “small” the activity is, it’s important that we’re there as a family to support each other. The ones he’s missed, I know have really bothered him.
- He doesn’t miss family and friend’s milestones. He doesn’t limit it to “just his kids”. If there’s a celebration for our friend’s kids, he’s going to be there if at all possible. There have been times that I’ve given him a kitchen pass and he’s still chosen to go. He doesn’t consider it a chore or a hardship – he enjoys spending the time celebrating the occasion with our friends because to us, our friends are our “chosen” family.
- He’s an amazing cook. Not only does he love to cook, he’s amazing at it. We don’t have a lot of time during the week to do it but come the weekend – it’s on. He relishes taking on the challenge of new recipes and believe me, we love the results of the challenge!! Fact: as odd as it seems, I never liked ribs until he came up with his own special version. Oh. My. God. They’re amazing and I still haven’t had any that are as good as his. Same goes for Philly Cheese Steaks.
- He’s quite possibly, the most patient and giving person I know. At least with me. Sometimes his fuse is short with the girls but hey… he’s way out-numbered, who wouldn’t lose it now and again. You have to understand me.. I’m sporadic, spontaneous and a liberal free spirit. He votes Republican, I vote Democrat. When I have one of my moments that I lovingly refer to as my “Lucy” moments, he’s right there to support me. He’ll play Devil’s advocate if he thinks it’s warranted, but for the most part he just lets me roll with it. And for that, I’m grateful.
- He’s funny. He’s always joking and always has a funny line to throw in the mix. Our poor kids aren’t always sure if he’s serious or if he’s kidding. Sometimes, neither am I. He can take it as well as he can give it, too. It’s easy to be a prankster but you have to be able to be pranked and laugh about it, too.
- He loves making memories and traditions. He gets this from his mom. This is important to both of us. For him, it’s because his family did and for me it’s because my family really didn’t. To clarify, he’s the one who started our annual Gingerbread House party – not me. I am always finding little pieces of paper tucked in his drawers where he has written down funny things the kids say or funny moments that happen on vacation and in every day life. Usually it’s the Moms that do this stuff but not in my house.
- He works his socks off. There was a time, several years ago when we were going thru a pretty tough time financially. He was doing an appraisal apprenticeship in NJ, it was closing in on Christmas and things were just really, really tight. Bills don’t get paid and kids don’t get fed on pride so in addition to the daytime job he was working, he went to work for Target 3rd shift to help make ends meet. I could see that it was affecting him, and I found it unbelievably hard to sit back and watch him go through this. It got to the point where I wanted to have a look at our bills and see if we could make some cutbacks in certain areas, like the electricity. I bet we pay for way more than we actually use, and so my friend told me to look at something like these Ambit Energy plans to see if there was a better price for electricity rates that we could pay for instead. At least it would take some of this financial strain off. But he was set on his work and wanted to do everything he could to help his family, even if it meant him working all the time. I think he went for 6 months with little to no sleep and it was hard on everyone. But, he never complained (well, no more than the normal person would) and we made it through. I’m not sure if he will ever know how significant that move was to me.
- He’s a softie for his daughters. Steve would rather spend time with us than anyone else. If one of the kids wants to play golf, he takes them. Football or tag in the yard, he plays. Sometimes things don’t get done around the house because of it and no matter what I may say, I’m okay with that. He’s involved in their homework, grades and discipline. He may not always stick TO the grounding which puts him in the “softie” category and therefore, again, makes him the nicer of the two of us (see #1).
- He’s really, really patient. Sure he loses his temper and gets louder than I like sometimes, but all in all – for a man who lives in a house with four women (3 of which are hormonal) he keeps his crap together pretty well. Attitudes and moods change in this house quicker than the action on Real Housewives and he rarely misses a beat. Poor dude is outnumbered and he doesn’t even have a man cave. Maybe I should think about building him one? So, he can have somewhere that is his, and his alone. Actually, I don’t think we have enough room in the house to be able to do this which would be unfortunate. In fact, my friend has recently started looking at some of the different prefab cabins that are usually used as additional storage spaces, but I actually think it would be perfect to use as a man cave. I’ll just have to make sure that our yard space is big enough to incorporate one. I can’t believe I haven’t thought of this before; it would be ideal for him. I best start looking into this right away, as I’m not sure how much more he can take.
- He’s a team player. I don’t know a lot of guys who are willing to jump in and scrub toilets and do other crap chores around the house but he’s never expected me to do all the housework. He’s always had the attitude that as long as we’re both working, we’re both doing equal share around the house. I <3 him for that.
Like any marriage, we’ve had our share of tough times and bumpy roads but through it all I know that one thing is true. I wouldn’t want to spend my time with anyone else.
So, Happy Birthday Boo… and those letters inside your wedding band still hold true – I love you more today than yesterday – but not as much as tomorrow.
Feel free to leave the Rooster some birthday love.. he may actually read my blog today!
Are you raising a teen or a tween? Join the conversation over at Ten to Twenty Parenting!