I really can NOT believe that almost 20 years ago I fell crazy in love with my Donald John. Today on his Birthday I would like to celebrate him.
Donald and I began our love affair when I joined the Port Washington Fire Department in July of 1994. He had a girlfriend and I had a boyfriend. With no interest in a new relationship I joined the Department and this skinny guy was always around. There was a member of his Company David whom I knew from being a member of Glenwood Fire Company. Dave introduced us and from that day DJ was always around the Firehouse when I was there. From the time we started spending time together we laughed and had so much fun with each other. He wore me down and my boyfriend and I broke up and we started dating in October of 1994. I was Emergency Medical Technician and DJ a firefighter we were a perfect match. He would become my Ambulance driver and I attending Fire Schools with him ended up spending a lot of time together. He was working for a local fire equipment distributor and I for a local dry cleaner we were young and in love. I was 19 and he was 21 years old, life was good.
I remember the first time we celebrated Valentine’s Day with the man who is now my husband. He took me to this super fancy bar restaurant in Port Washington where he took me on our first date, JT Bullets. Bullets was a hole in the wall bar where all the locals hung out, but we were young and had no money so to me it was perfect. Valentine’s Day came just after our four-month anniversary. I still have every card he ever wrote me. I have every letter, yes he did, DJ wrote me tons of letters. I don’t remember what we ate, but I’m pretty sure the evening involved a bunch of locals drinking at the bar, no white table cloth or candlelight but what I do remember is that wonderful feeling, that lightness and giddiness and excitement, of finally being truly in love.
We stopped celebrating Valentine’s Day a few years later, as both of us did not like the idea that we single out one day each year to emphasize romance. We stopped celebrating our monthly anniversaries too, as months began to turn into years. August 20, 1998 with our family around he asked me to be his wife and on March 31, 2000 I married my love on a beautifully sunny sixty something degree day. We’ve been married nearly fifteen years and we have three boys, so our lives are now measured by baseball games, playdates and when is your school project due. I could never have predicted some of the changes we’ve experienced — Loosing my Mother so suddenly just one month before Johnny’s first birthday. The many unfortunate medical issues I have had through the years or the difficulties of simple everyday life with three children. The changes have surprised me, but I am equally surprised and delighted by the things that have stayed the same.
Ours is truly an easy marriage. For some reason we have a gift of loving each other no matter what. Sure we fight but we fight about things like – Please do not put the syrup in the fridge. DJ hates cold syrup on his hot waffles. There have been plenty of times I have had to forgive him for harsh words he may have used. But there are equally as many times I have had to ask for forgiveness. I adore him unconditionally even when he is not 100% adorable. No two people can live in the same house and not rub each other the wrong way at some point or another. For us I think the key is balance. Balancing being the best Mother and Father to our children and the best husband and wife to each other.
We don’t often get a date night and if we do it is more like a joint therapy session then a date. Dating is expensive and for now the kids are in need of things like baseball equipment, new sneakers and cash! But if we do have a date I am excited to apply copious amounts of makeup as I rarely do that anymore. I wear my best spanx as my childbearing years have offered me extra pounds around my middle and my face extra lines around my eyes. I put on my nice earrings and some jewelry he has bought me through the years. I trade my flip flops for nicer shoes and I wear perfume. He still sees me as beautiful. I can tell by the way he holds my hand as we leave the house. I can also tell by the way he looks at me across the table, it make me smile inside – for the mirror shows my age, my excessive weight gain but his smile shows his love for all things me.
A great gift we get to share with our boys is our loving marriage. Donald is teaching them to marry someone with your whole heart, someone that excites you emotionally and intellectually. He has taught them to marry your best friend – someone you want to be with till the end of each day, until you reach your last day. Don’t get married because you think it is time to get married. Get married because you found that person no matter how long it takes. Strive everyday to be the best husband and father you can be. Life can be chaotic and trying, if you can make your wife laugh then you got it made.
I am still so in love with that boy I met in 1994. It is a feeling that has now been grounded in the real stuff like who is going to clean the bathroom cause three boys do not know how to aim in the toilet.
I am so lucky to have this wonderful, whity, smart, handsome, caring, loving man. But my favorite part is that he makes me laugh like crazy. We laugh together like crazy – How lucky are we.
Happy 41st Birthday Donald John