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This is 6

 

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Plus 3 months.

Six is a tough nut to crack: he has a six pack, and a loose tooth, and insists on showering alone. Sometimes that six-pack-tummy aches a bit and he has to be carried “like a baby!” to the couch for snuggles, and sometimes he’s so terrified of losing that tooth that he won’t eat, and sometimes he sneaks out of the shower with a head full of shampoo to climb into the tub with his cutie-wootie-Poppy-wops.

His favorite word is “bootie”, except when it’s “penis”, except when it’s “farts”, except when it’s “juggernaut”, the hardest word on last week’s spelling test. He excels at school in a way that amazes me – the nerd runs deep in this one. No, I can’t spell things in front of him anymore without getting called out, and yes, he has asked what Aunt B meant when she wrote “dammmnnn girl, you fine” in an email he’s just read over my shoulder. But it warms my heart in a way I never would have understood without this wonderful boy.

Six carries a bit of a weight on his shoulders. He worries about life, and protecting his family in that magical and slightly misunderstood way that six year olds understand everything. I had to remind myself of this when I spent a morning (and £200) dealing with a locksmith after Six decided it wasn’t safe to keep a spare key outside of the apartment. Also when it took a liberal dose of sunflower oil to remove a piece of gum he had put in his underwear to “save for later”.

He is my first baby and I can’t believe I honestly get to spend the rest of my life with a front-row seat to this wonderful show.

This is 36

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Thirty six is the hardest worker I know. He is the best driver I know. He is the coolest cucumber I know: he stays composed even when I do my best to ruffle that composure. He loves our children with a silent strength that amazes me, and I am so, so lucky that he is their father.

Also: he’s still ridiculously, ridiculously good looking.

This is 66

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Or was, until today. Now it’s 67.

Many people think they have the best father in the world. I have evidence:

My father Ioves his family in a fierce, joyful, all-consuming way. Because of my father, I grew up in a house full of laughter and love, the Sunday New York Times and as much chicken fried steak as you could ask for.

He would do anything for us, if we’d only ask. William mentions he might like a milkshake? At 8 AM? Within 30 minutes there is a handmade vanilla milkshake in that boy’s hands. Poppy says she wants a dolly for Christmas? Well, Poppy now has 15 new dollies.

My father is one of the smartest, strongest, funniest men I’ve ever met. I never for one minute doubted how much I was loved – even when it mortified me. Like the time I got in a horrible bike accident and my dad, so incredibly frustrated that he couldn’t do a damn thing to make me better, threw my bike down a large hill in front of all of my friends. Even, no, especially then.

Happy birthday, dad. I promise we will avoid any and all avalanches. Mostly because I can only imagine what you would do to the entire country of Switzerland if something were to happen to your grandbabies here.

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