“Sometimes everything feels chaotic and fast, like a whirlwind we can’t stop. Time is flying by and I forget to really see you,” starts a heartfelt letter wife and mom, Jessica Johnston, wrote to her husband Graham on her blog, Wonderoak. In the moving note, Jess seeks to reassure, praise, and honor her husband in the ways that everyday life doesn’t allow for.
She starts by explaining that when she does slow down, she takes notice of the ways Graham has changed and grown both alone and with her in the years since they married. She shares that both her and her husband have seen each other at their best and worst, and admits that sometimes, she expects everything from him.
“Things that don’t belong to you, like making me feel happy, or skinny, or perfect. I’m sorry; it’s not your job, I know it’s not. Sometimes when I’m angry at me, I get angry at you instead,” she wrote. “I take things out on you. When I’m struggling or anxious or depressed, I roll my eyes, and I glare at you when you say the wrong thing. There wasn’t a right thing you could have said anyway. My struggle is with me, not with you. I’m sorry that in the day to day mess of life, I give you my worst instead of my best . . . more often than I’d like to admit.”
The mom continues, telling her husband that he’s her favorite, today and every day, to go through hard things, adventure, celebrate, laugh, cry — things that she, or any partner, might take for granted; things that any partner may question their stance on without a bit of reassurance, especially during difficult times. But, most of all, Jess says that Graham is her favorite person to parent with and that she’s realized he’s her best surprise since having their four children.
We are doing our best to raise them with whole hearts and passionate souls and we barely ever know what we’re doing. We’re in way over our heads, and we think we fail more than we succeed, but we keep loving them and leading them anyway.
You are doing the very best job; I’m so proud of the dad that you are.
You are my favorite father for our kids and I know beyond a shadow of a doubt you are theirs too. . . .
I knew I was marrying someone that I loved and admired, but I didn’t know the man you’d become. I didn’t know the father you’d be or the partner you’d be in good times and bad. I didn’t know how you’d hold our babies on their first day of life; I didn’t know how you’d be during financial struggles and I didn’t know how you’d hold my hand even though we just had a fight. I didn’t know how you’d brush our daughters’ hair or how you’d teach them all to work hard for their dreams.
I didn’t know, but I’m so grateful now that I chose you.
Jess ends her emotional note by reassuring her husband that he’s doing a great job: “I know that you question if you’ve done well, and let me tell you something: you’ve done so, so, well. You’ve done better than I could have expected. You have been my best and my favorite surprise.”