I saw you as a stranger. Far away and exciting. A quirky seventeen year old. A boy with a bit of an ego. The skateboarder, the car fixer-upper, the music blaring teenager, the student. You were quiet and charming.
Then you were loud. Daring. You became a part of me. And then you were apart from me. We loved as tall as the mountains and as deep as the seas for as long as they separated us.
Then you were brave. Noble. You signed a contract with the Air Force, and exchanged band t-shirts for a camouflaged uniform. Leaving the comfort of your home promptly after graduation.
I blinked, and there was a ring on my finger. I was seventeen, dizzy with anticipation, and engaged to my best friend.
Then, I saw you as a groom. On a frozen day in February. Promising our lives to each other after our love for one another had surely reached its capacity.
Oh, how foolish we were.
Then you were my husband. The peace maker, the IKEA furniture builder, the place in which I found my footing. After two years in this role, I was positive I had seen every facet of you. Every bit of strength, gentleness, and love pour in and out of you.
But then there was Her.
A daughter. A girl that broke us down just to teach us both how deep our hearts could stretch. A girl that stole our pride and replaced it with humility. You jumped in head first into the love she brought with her. I see that love flooding out of you as you brush tiny blonde ringlets and persuade belly laughs out of her. Her first word was appropriately "dada" and she nearly happy cries when you walk through the door each day. She has shown me just how much softness, courage, and love you truly contain.
I have seen you as a boy.
A working man.
Of all the versions of you that I have witnessed, this is certainly the best.
You were made to love her.