Today is Allison’s birthday. As a family, we are blessed to celebrate the birthdays of three hilarious little people, and they usually (as they should) take prominence in our lives here at home. However, today provides an excuse for a little celebration of the most popular (for now!) parent in the house.
We’ll probably celebrate Allison’s birthday subtly with a little take-out, wine, and cake (baked--in a good decision for all involved--by the birthday girl herself). No inflatable structures, pizza parties, or new LEGO playsets. Not a lot of fanfare, but that wouldn't really be our style.
What are we celebrating? We’re celebrating Allison.
Allison loves warmly and unconditionally. She is a listener, a supporter, an encourager, and a friend. Not just to me, but also to our children, friends, and family.
Allison teaches. It isn't her job title or her profession, technically, but she teaches, most often by example. I struggle to be patient when I find myself saying "Please stop [insert undesirable activity here]," for the twentieth time. Allison maintains her resolve and her calm (with maybe the occasional exception). As she and I have learned to be parents and a parenting team, she has taught me more than anyone else, from the details of diapers and bathtime to the more philosophical elements of parenthood and discipline. I am the dad I am in large part because of Allison's influence.
Allison works hard. A lifetime ago, I knew Allison as an undergraduate student. While I was likely to put off work and find excuses not to do what I convinced myself was busy work, she seemed to tackle everything with the same dedication I reserved for "important tasks." She applies the same ethic at work, at home, and in school. She was the one who put renewed effort and work into the blog and our pictures so we could share more of what's going on.
Allison is the favorite. We have a running joke in our house about how everyone wants/needs to be close to her all the time. I say it's a joke, but it's largely true. It's not unusual for me to leave for work in the morning as all three kids are spinning around Allison like little planets to her sun. She is comfort and peace to all of us, especially Lauren. I'm sure it's exhausting sometimes, but she embraces it wholly. That's the idea I think I celebrate most today. Allison is wholly invested in her multiple roles in our lives. She and I can handle a 3 am emergency wake-up call with mechanical precision, we can curl up on the couch for a big game, and we can laugh together about pretty much anything. A lot.