And before anyone starts to think this is going to be some reminiscing about how Sweet Girl and Little Man came to be, let me assure that they were created in the same manner as me and my siblings; through the utmost respect and admiration and very cordial hand shaking. And I will delete anyone who comments anything to the contrary. No, this is a love letter for my husband on his birthday. Because without that, there would be no Sweet Girl and Little Man.
Sean should've been in Times Square and I should have had a cooler brother but neither of us got what we originally planned on New Year's of 2000/2001. Well I should've had a cooler brother throughout this lifetime, but that's neither here nor there. There was a blizzard in the New York/New Jersey area and Carrie and I were hanging with my brother and Amy for the third NYE in a row. Sean knew a friend of Joshua and Amy's. I knew Joshua and Amy and they were the ones having the party in Fayetteville, North Carolina. It was New Year's; there was beer and kissing at midnight and oddly a trip to the dumpster in a "classic" Toyota. And then Sean went to Kosovo for six months and I felt badly about that so I emailed him. He emailed back. Write, Send, Repeat. Then about ten months after we met, we had a real date. Phone, Fly, Repeat. We had a really great party with a whole lot of really great people about three years after our first date to celebrate our wedding. The aforementioned brother wasn't even there and still made me cry. In spite of that, it was a great beginning to a life I never would have planned but wouldn't have any other way.
At some point during the time I spent in airports and on planes while Sean and I were dating, I fell for him before I could help myself. We are not cut from the same cloth. Actually I'm not sure we were cut in the same fabric store, but somehow that doesn't matter. Dissimilar backgrounds aside (suburban Jersey Catholic vs. rural Illinois decidedly Protestant), our personalities also fall apart from one another. Sean has never met a stranger and I'm a natural introvert. He is historical non-fiction to my classic literature sprinkled with US Weekly. He watches Fox News and The Weather Channel religiously, while I'd rather have Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert bring me current events. If you were to judge us based solely upon iTunes libraries you would think Sean was in a time warp as most of his music predates actual iPods, or he's an eight year old girl whose dad sometimes uses the account. And you would probably think I have multiple personalities. We are an odd couple to say the least. But I suppose love has brought further separates together.
But there are many reasons my heart recognized Sean even when my head didn't. He is extraordinarily loyal to his friends. He would truly give them the shirt off his back if he thought you really needed it. (And to show off his Irish tan.) You can not go anywhere-I'm not kidding about this-without running into someone he knows, and he is capable of recalling the smallest details about that person's life regardless of the fact they haven't seen or talked in a couple of years. Once you are Sean's friend, you are always his friend unless you choose not to be. In my worst moments as a person, wife, and mother he lets me be terrible with the confidence that I will return from WickedWitchville soon. He loves me, though wisely from a distance, even when I am "Mean and Nasty, Party of 1!" And when I feel like I've lost myself somewhere between the 56th book on autism and the 56th poopy diaper to change, he always seems to know exactly who I am.
Sean has weathered some great tragedies in his lifetime and he carries that with him every moment of every day. But he never lets the weight of that slow down his marching forward. While many people get paralyzed by the fact that some things will forever be in the past tense, Sean shoulders that weight carefully and more gracefully than most. If you didn't know his personal story then his sunny disposition would never let on to the things that could derail a life. He is smart enough to know that we are more than our losses and he is strong enough to live with that - not everyone is. And if you want to see Sean at his sunniest, just watch him hanging out with his children. Sweet Girl and Little Man may never know how lucky they are to have a dad that feels more complete because they are in the world. Unconsciously, he accepts them as they are and recognizes all they can become. He smiles brighter when he smiles at them; the hallmark of a good dad.
So that's how The Adventures of Sweet Girl and Little Man came to be. Sean is a good man and luck, fate, or the mischief-maker brought us together. And why do I feel the need to share this? It's his birthday (and this is faster than sending something to his current location). I'm not a total fool though, there is an actual present on its way to him. I'd hate for him to think something like this is an acceptable gift when my birthday rolls around. Cause it's not, Sean. :) Happy Birthday! Be safe. Sweet Girl, Little Man, and I are sending our love (and an actual gift!) through the distance.