Hi. I'd like to talk to you about two men, with whom I fell in love... before they existed.
I met this guy when he was seventeen. Still in school. Still a kid. We became friends. And then we became a married couple with a mortgage and a third kid on the way.
Okay, so there was some other stuff in between those two points. But seriously, don't the years just fly?
Thing is, when Liam and I were a young, carefree boyfriend and girlfriend, we were pretty much still kids. But I didn't just fall in love with that fun, lovable youngster - I fell in love with the man he would someday be; the man I saw in him.
And now, nine years later - nearly seven years of marriage, three houses, and nearly three kids later - I'm married to that man.
He's still learning. He's still growing. So am I. So are we all. But that man I saw in my eighteen-year-old best friend... he's here.
I see him in the daddy who loves my children so very much. I see him in the brother who encourages me - and others - from the scriptures. I see him in the man who goes out to work all day, and comes home ready to be present for his family. I see him in the husband who loves, honours, and cherishes his wife. And I see him in the dude who still jokes around like a teenager with his best friend - who just happens to be me.
I'm not one to go on and on about the guy - his hair's big enough; let's not go giving him a head to match. But seriously, he's awesome. And this year, through all the challenges and the trials and the massive leaps of faith, he's been a rock. I never stop being impressed.
My kids sure have got it good. And I'm stoked, cos I know exactly how good it is to have an excellent dad.
This guy, I met when he was about one second old. (Before that, I just knew him as the wriggly kid who kicked my ribs a lot.) He shouted his way into my life, and I had no idea what I was in for. See, I was pretty excellent at being Mummy to a little girl. But a little boy? What's that?
I had no idea about tractors or diggers or who Thomas the Tank Engine's friends were. I had no idea how little boys worked. Just... none.
I had no idea how cheekily and completely a little boy could steal a mama's heart.
But maaaan, did I ever learn. I now know each of Thomas's friends by name and defining characteristic. I can sing you the song, if you like. I know not all big yellow things on a construction site are called "diggers".
I know this boy's got me.
And when I look at this little marvel of boyishness, with his love of food and critters and being hilarious, I see more than a toddler with a ton of personality. I see the man in him.
This boy of mine is going to grow up. He's going to become a man, someday. And I'm already in love with the man my son will someday be. I believe in him.
I believe in the kind, affectionate daddy he could be. I believe in him as the faithful, encouraging brother who might comfort and strengthen his brethren. I believe in the good, honourable man he will become. I believe in the sweet, strong, loving husband that lies within him. And I believe in the boncecake who will always love a laugh with those blessed with his friendship.
I see that man - just as I saw a man within that other boy I mentioned.
And I love him already.
Boyz 2 Men. But not the 90s pop group.
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