Dear Kenny (on your birthday)

January 28, 2016

Dear Kenny,

Tonight, the kids and I pictured you alone in Paris “celebrating” your 40th birthday with dinner for one…in the new duds you had to buy since your suitcase never made it…and realized it was, perhaps, not the most fantastic of birthdays. Especially for a milestone. We sure wish you were home so we could celebrate with you. Soon. Not soon enough, but soon.

Ah, you’re 40.

Welcome to the club. I’m especially glad to have you here. While I love flexing my “older and wiser” status muscles for the two months and one day each year when it’s obvious that you are younger than me, I much prefer to be the same age. It’s more fitting. It’s more us. “We’re 40.”

We’ve been a “we” for so long. Half of our 40 years. We’ve lived and loved so much. And that alone makes 40 worth it.

Oh, 40. How did we get here? It seems like just yesterday we were young, and carefree, and 19 and in college. And now, here we are at 40.  We live in the suburbs. On a cul-de-sac. Wrangling two kids. And a golden retriever. No mini-van, but we definitely can fit a six-pack of kids in our cars…so, close enough.

You have given me the gift of so many of life’s greatest joys. Thank you.

As you turn 40, perhaps the greatest gift is to know just how much you are loved. It was for me. And being kindred spirits, I imagine such sentiments will also rank high with you.

So, since we’re apart, and can’t tell you in person, I had the kids share their 40 favorite things about you. Not quite the same as being together, but hopefully fills the void a bit.

  1. You love us.
  2. You’re a good Dad.
  3. You like Mom. (hahaha!)
  4. Your mohawk.
  5. You give the best high fives.
  6. You’re nice and kind.
  7. You make us laugh.
  8. You are a good coach.
  9. You are a goalie. (Once a keeper, always a keeper?)
  10. Your pants.
  11. You do the laundry.
  12. You help clean up.
  13. You stink at video games.
  14. You make our lunches.
  15. And give us snacks.
  16. You take good care of Bob.
  17. You pick up Bob’s poop.
  18. You don’t cook.
  19. You take us out to dinner.
  20. You beat us at sports, especially soccer.
  21. You help us with homework.
  22. You yell at us to make us be our best. (hahaha! hahahahahaha!)
  23. You buy us stuff – like cool clothes.
  24. You take Bob on walks.
  25. You make us take showers.
  26. You are a good dancer.
  27. You teach us dance moves.
  28. You drop us off at the trail so we can walk to school.
  29. You take us to Dairy Queen.
  30. You let us get treats.
  31. You work at Nike.
  32. You let us watch funny videos on your phone.
  33. You let us sleep in your bed when Mom travels.
  34. You make us read.
  35. You take us on vacation.
  36. You take us on rides at Disney World.
  37. You go swimming with us.
  38. You take us to camps in the summer.
  39. You have freckles like us.
  40. You have fun shoes.

Don’t worry. We didn’t have cake. We’ll save that for your return. 😉



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