Amy and I have been married for eleven years this week. We met in college back in September 1987, and I actually tried to ask her out (or something…not sure I could have been so articulate) within the week, but Amy gracefully deferred having me pop the question for over a decade. I am amazingly grateful that fate and the good ‘ol Class Notes brought our paths back together again. Amy is the main reason I’m sitting here today as a basically happy and healthy person, and has become a vital member of my family and circle of friends. She is an indefatigably loving, caring and fun mom, whose comfort and attention are the absolute foundation of our girls’ own lives and no doubt will lead them on to future happiness.
This year’s key reasons to admire and love Amy include:
She is not resting on her laurels: Well, not resting at all really, but Amy is driven to figure out how to take the next big step in her professional career as we start to look ahead to all the girls being in school. Amy has always had a genius for convening people, creating content and facilitating discussions around challenging topics in the domains (broadly speaking) of parenting, ethics/values, and spirituality. I admire how she is taking on the work of redefinition (of self, career, and to some extent how the whole family works) that goes along with carving out a different path than she had as a classroom teacher. There are probably twenty people who have relied significantly on Amy’s friendship and counsel to get through big challenges this year, so the market has already spoken when it comes to Amy’s success in her future job/consulting gig.
She supports my alternative lifestyle: When I flipped the switch last year and went from the guy who would fly to Buffalo just to eat wings to vegan guy, Amy did not check to see if I was out of warranty, but actually jumped in pretty enthusiastically to get some new cookbooks and gear up to embrace the Great Seitan. Many people over the years have assumed that because Amy is so nice she must be a vegetarian, but this truly is an extra step motivated by love. Happily I have adopted a Cafeteria Catholic approach to give a pass to anything that Amy bakes, regardless of dairy content, which helps preserve our collective enjoyment of the many deliciousnesses that she and her 50-pound bag of King Arthur Flour come up with.
She is the hardest-working mom in show business: The birthday cakes are just the highlight reel moments, but underlying that is the hourly, daily and weekly cadence of Amy’s constant attention to what the girls are eating, wearing, studying, and feeling. Oy, the feelings! Much respect to the woman who can give so much and keep a sense of perspective and balance, most of the time.
We still have a great time together: Submerged as we are in the lightly sparkling waters of Lake Girlhood, it is hard to find time to spend together. But in those fleeting moments while making lunches, or perhaps an hour side by side pecking away at our laptops late at night, we still make each other laugh and have grown with each other through life’s changes.
So to celebrate Amy, here is a poem I wrote for her way back after Miss A. was born when we were still entertaining notions of having four kids. It is told from the perspective of four kids at different ages, each talking about Amy as a mom. I have to say it has turned out to be pretty accurate so far, leaving aside the kid character’s identities.