I knew you when.
When you were a boy with shaggy hair, singing songs and playing soccer and butting heads with your mom. When you were making jokes in between classes (and in classes) and creating nicknames for everyone you knew. I knew you at the pinnacle of your youth and silliness. When you teased the girls you liked. When pooka shells were still occasionally worn. It's true.
When you sang "Hero" by Enrique Iglesias and when you asked to hold my hand by writing it out in a text message. When you were red-cheeked from our first kiss and promising me forever and writing love notes. Making plans and choosing colleges and deciding, right then and there, that all our dreams would come true. I knew you when you talked animatedly about having kids, and the fact that we were still kids ourselves didn't seem to phase you at all.
You have been a dad-in-the-making for as long as I've known you. Waking up next to you this morning and seeing you as that boy / my husband / a father is such a supercalifragilisticexpialidocious feeling. Growing old with you will be all the sweeter for having known you as that boy, and watching you grow to raise our own. There are moments when none of this seems real, and the love and blessedness of our home together threatens to fill and burst me like a giant heart balloon.
I have seen you grow from the boy I knew and rolled my eyes at to the man who now guides our own boy to know and love what is Good. I have seen your sweet and fun-loving heart tenderized by fatherhood. I look at our son and suddenly I can see, in my mind's eye, the many precious years of your life that I missed. The missing links to who you are. I can see your furrowed brow as you made your first childish discoveries and feel your mother's love for you. I can see the pinpricks of personality blossoming in your eyes. It's all here, in the face of our son.
I marvel and delight in you both. You and I have a brilliant history; a wonderful collection of years together. Travels and weird traditions and Coldplay dance parties. We made everything fun. While they were golden years, they were far from our greatest hits. We are now able to choose our favorite things and do them all over again with our son. Let's travel the world, make up silly songs, read Harry Potter, spend time with kindred spirits, eat our favorite foods and listen to the Beatles (ok, and One Direction too).
Today, I want you to know that you have kept your silliest (and best) promises to me from way back then. This is a dreamy life and I adore you. Happy first Father's Day, my love. Today is special for us both, because darling...
I knew you when.