Lists, Love, and Robbing the Cradle

April 8, 2010 at 8:44 pm | Posted in Family | 26 Comments

Dear Husband,
Do not read this post till after your birthday. Thanks.

Love, Me


I am a cougar. A cradle robber. A dater of younger men. (Well, younger man.) For three weeks every year.

For the 21 days between my birthday and Husband’s, I am a year older than him. During which time he never tires of teasing me about being of a certain age, no matter what my age. But this weekend? We’ll be even again. For exactly 344 days.

We will celebrate, of course. We will celebrate him turning another year older, me being glad we can retire the jokes (again), and him looking forward to coming up with a few new ones.

With a Cherry Carrot on Top
We will undoubtedly have carrot cake, black licorice, and ginger snaps (desserts that I, quite frankly, think are a waste of calories and time). But it’s his birthday. And while I love chocolate, I love him more.

There will be a few requisite boxes from Amazon, thoughtful scribbles from Lollipop and Giggles, and a party hat or seven. We will light candles and sing. We will do our best to dissuade Lollipop from “helping” Daddy open his presents. In 37 seconds flat.

Making the List
And there will be something else. A tradition I started last year after I read this book. After a good friend lost her husband to cancer and I was reminded that every day, every moment, every silly, heard-it-before joke with my husband is a precious one.

So I will celebrate this last year, this slightly stressful, salty-sweet, simply amazing year we have had together, with a list. A list of the many things — both tiny and tremendous — that make me love him more, that remind me why he is the partner, friend, and father I have chosen for this life. A list that makes me glad I robbed the cradle and ran. To him.

And to get him back for all the jokes, I’m going public …

Why I Love You — 2010*
1. You’re the life of the tea party.
2. You don’t understand my minivan hesitation but go with it anyway.
3. You precisely measure the kiddos’ medicine. And still let me ask you at least three times if you’re sure about the dose.
4. You can devour a book like nobody I’ve ever seen.
5. You play in the sandbox.
6. You taught our daughter to spit. And our son to like carbs finally.
7. You added me to your Google reader on the first post.
8. When I hang a picture by eyeballing it, you keep its not-quite-centered-ness to yourself.
9. You fix refrigerators and ACs and laptops and princess wands.
10. You push me out of my comfort zone when I need it. And I always do.

*This is the abridged list. There’s no way Husband will wait to read this, and I gotta keep some things a secret. I mean, he already knows about the Amazon boxes.

What’s on your list for those who mean the most to you? Have you told them? (And are you with me that carrot cake is SO not worth it?)



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  1. Happy Birthday Husband of Stacia! I adore this list – note to self: must make one too.

    I’m with you on the cradle-robbing, except if you counted mine in days, you would need a calculator AND an abacus. The age jokes will probably never go away – just the way we like it.

    Enjoy the celebration!

  2. The carrot cake isn’t worth it, but the cream cheese frosting? It SO is.
    I love lists, and I love Love (and links and book recommendations!), and I love my husband for doing errands I hate. The post office, for instance, and customer service by phone – he does both without complaint. He’d say I’m overvaluing. Impossible.

  3. I love this! You can feel just how much you love him in your post. I am lucky enough to have the same feelings for my husband. We’ve been married for 10 years, together for almost 18 and the pure joy of him never leaves me. Interestingly enough…I wrote my own 10 for him today over at Never True Tales. The top 10 reasons he’s a better parent than me.

    We are lucky women! Happy Birthday to your husband.

  4. Happy Birthday to your hubby! Sounds like great plans to me.

  5. This is a great list, and it’s a wonderful reminder to me to stop and think about the reasons why I love my husband. #1 on my list is that he believes in me more than anyone else in my life. #2 is that he makes my coffee every morning. Some days, the coffee might actually come in at number one if it’s been a particularly rough night.

    Happy Birthday to your husband!

  6. That is the BEST list! It sounds like you’re both very lucky.
    Hope it’s a wonderful birthday.

  7. My mom and dad are six months apart, and she’s the older woman in his life between March and November. He never tires of reminding her of that.

    I did a list for my husband last year. And I try to find reminders every day, too. Something to balance out the dirty socks I find on the floor every day!

    And I have to respectfully disagree with you about carrot cake. That cream cheese frosting? Yum. And I heart ginger snaps, too. The black licorice is all your hubby’s though!

  8. My husband is 12 days older than I am, and during that time never tires of assuring me that I’ll “understand when I’m his age.”

    I’m reading this post in a waiting room and smiling like a little kid. Love-Posts make me happy. Somehow, even though they’re not about me, they make me appreciate my husband even more than I did already.

    Happy birthday (to you both). Thank you for sharing this and lifting my spirits this morning!

    • I’m absolutely stealing your husband’s line next year! =>

  9. So sweet!
    After dating my husband for a year I wrote THREE HUNDRED AND SIXTY FIVE things I liked about him. Thinking about that makes me now feel like a lazy wife!
    Carrot cake is a waste of a dessert. Not worth it unless you’re eating it for breakfast.
    Have a happy birthday weekend!!

  10. Ha! My husband is 4 years older than me and I never tire of telling him that. : )

    Your husband sounds like an excellent match for you. Happy birthday to him!

  11. PS – I just requested that book from the library! Thanks – I’m always on the lookout for a good read (especially one that will make me cry.)

  12. A beautiful list – I’m inspired to go write one of my own.

    Happy Birthday Husband!

  13. I love this so much. I love my husband for some of the same things. He does measure the medicine and I do ask him a hundred times if he got it right! Boy that’s love!

    And there’s so much more. I never want to take my husband for granted. Thanks for the reminder.

  14. Love this list. And carrot cake? I like it, but I would have to make it myself because I loathe walnuts. And have you ever seen a carrot cake without walnuts. And the whole baking a cake thing…if it happens and it’s my choice, chocolate totally wins. Licorice. I think we established at Easter time that black licorice is just plain gross.

    I hope he enjoys whatever is inside those amazon boxes.

  15. Sounds like “robbing that cradle” was one of the best things you ever did! Happy birthday to him! Isn’t love just grand?!

  16. My sweetie is 13 YEARS older than me. I am never allowed to feel old at all. Alas. I love your list. For my sweetie’s b’day last year I made him a book, 50 Things I Love About You (Guess how old he was turning?) It was so fun to compile the list. And so difficult to keep it to 50! Thanks for sharing the love and making me smile. And–I’m with you on the carrot cake. Bring on the double chocolate with extra thick buttercream frosting.

    • Oh, buttercream!! My absolute favorite. I could eat a vat of it. Seriously. And a book … I’m filing that away for future lists, perhaps the next big milestone birthday. Love that idea!

  17. Oh, I just looked at that book and sniff sniff tears! What a sweet idea. What a wonderful way to honor someone. Your husband is very lucky!

  18. I love chocolate just as much, if not more, than anyone, but I’m also really fond of carrot cake. Especially if it’s loaded in cream cheese frosting. Happy Birthday to your husband!

  19. I love the list idea! That is so sweet and romantic.

    Happy Birthday to your husband!

  20. What a lovely post. (You wicked older woman, you!) And a great list. What could be a better gift than that?

  21. Adam always insists on Red Velvet which I can handle. And carrot cake, it’s delicious! My personal fave, Italian Cream Cake or anything chocolate or lemon or buttery (I love all cake).

    I am also the older woman for FIVE months. Sigh 😦 This year, not such a big deal, but next year when it’s 3-0 I am sure I will hear SO many jokes for 5 months.

    • Since our husbands are made from the same mold, I bet you’re in for the jokes next year! Just smile and nod and threaten to withhold the red velvet cake. =>

  22. Love the list and the idea of the list. And must start thinking of list today. Just because.

    Happy Birthday to your wonderful husband!

    (I admit to enjoying carrot cake – although I see others’ like it for the same reason I do – FROSTING!)

  23. I am going to steal this idea and start making these lists too 🙂 Five years ago I bought a journal in which I started writing entries for my hubby in the hopes of giving it to him for our 10 year anniversary…well, that anniversary is exactly one month away and I’ve got about 10 pages written. I’d let fights and other negative things get in the way. But I think it is important to remember the positive. Thanks for the reminder.

    And happy birthday to your hubby!!

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