So, this is 40.
40 is hard.
40 is realizing your body is slowing down, not working quite as well as it did 10 years ago. 40 is an ICD placement and a hip replacement within 13 months of each other...with the other hip following close behind.
40 is reassessing career dreams, aspirations, realities. 40 is deciding where to spend the next 20 years of your life.
40 is a job that may not be your favorite, but has incredible benefits, which all of the sudden, are a lot more important than they were 10 years ago.
40 is never having enough time to meet all the demands of work and fatherhood.
40 is hard.
But, 40 is wonderful. It is the culmination of 39 years of laughing in doctor's faces when they said you'd never graduate from high school, never go to college, never be "anything," thanks to an umbilical cord finding its way around your neck at birth. It is a high school degree, a college degree, work on hit records and at a university. It is taking care of your family.
It is a solid roof over our heads, and children running through the hallways. It is sweet faces smiling when you get home from work, excited to share the rest of your day with you. It is realizing that, at the end of the day, that is the most important thing. That is what will live on.
39 was a tough year for you, daddy. And we know the 40's are scary. But daddy, we believe great things are ahead for you in your 40's. We know it and we will shout it to the rooftops (or maybe just all over your car, since you enjoyed it so much when mommy wrote "It's my 40th birthday today" on your car in shaving cream today).
Happy Birthday, daddy. We love you. We know we're sometimes a tough bunch to hang with. We know sometimes we bring utter pandemonium on all parts of your life. Thanks for sticking with us, sticking it out. You rock.
Happy 40th birthday, daddy. Here's to 40 more.