Dear husband,

I forgot to tell you this morning when you left for work and the kids were asking for pancakes. When I was feeling grumpy about how everyone got up too early and also grumpy that I stayed up too late.

Thanks for our home, this white kitchen with the shiny handles we picked when we were just kids, dreaming of a home filled with kids. Thanks for your hands building it, your creativity designing it, your hard work paying for it.

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Thanks for these absolutely gorgeous children I feed.

Thanks for the hug when I’ve had a hard day. Thanks for the good advice.

Thanks for saying yes to me all the times you wanted to say no:
To a foster daughter.
To a puppy.
To a farm where I can grow fruit trees and sell eggs.
To marriage therapy when I was feeling scared.
To a vasectomy when I knew my depression couldn’t handle another pregnancy.

Thanks for going to bed early with me even when you don’t want to.

Thanks for loving that vegan soup I made for dinner. (I mean, you feel great now though, right? So nourishing.)

Thanks for saying sorry for going out with your friends without telling me.

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Thanks for forgiving me when I criticize just because I’m grumpy.

Thanks for holding me when I cry from fear and overwhelm and my own epigenetic trauma.

Thanks for saying, “It’s OK, baby. I’m on your team.”

A friend shared something her dad, born in 1914, said about his wife, “Our marriage may not have been perfect, but we were devoted to each other.”

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I forgot to say this to you this morning, and I forget too often in between chasing small children and big dreams, but I need you to know . . . 

I’m devoted to you, our marriage, and our family. Always.

Genny Rietze

Genny Rietze lives on the beach in Alaska with her husband, two busy kids, and twenty chickens.  You can find her on Instagram @gennyrietze