My best friend was born on September 21, 1943 at 4:43 in the afternoon. The announcement in the paper read “Seaman Second Class and Mrs. Irvin Maurer are the parents of a 6-pound, 3-ounce boy, Gary Irwin.” I know this because his grandmother was kind enough to give me his baby book when we married. My husband’s mother died when he was four, so his baby book is precious, not only for the information it contains, but because it is written in his mother’s beautiful handwriting. She neatly recorded his weight and height, feeding schedule and sleeping habits. There are samples of his hair and notations about each little baby tooth. There are gift cards, Christmas cards, clippings and photos. I love to look at, and I must admit that I’m a little jealous. My mother either didn’t keep a book for me or lost it somewhere during our many moves.
My husband and I had similar childhoods in many ways. We both grew up in the San Joaquin Valley of CA. We both grew up in the fields. It’s just that his family owned them and ours rented. His family ate at restaurants. Ours ate bologna and fried potatoes at the kitchen table. We often talk about the similarities and differences in our backgrounds. As we get older we seem more and more compatible and I think our shared background has a lot to do with that.
My husband is a very creative man. He likes photography and art and music. He’s a tremendous jazz fan. He’s taught me so much about music. And he’s always willing to go to concerts or museums or art shows. He even loves shopping and sappy movies. He also loves cars, racing, and football. He’s tried to teach me a lot about those, but I’m not a good student. We enjoy car shows together, but he still has to explain most of the cars to me. I just can’t seem to remember.
I’m working on his birthday. One of those things we’ve learned to accept. We’ll celebrate this weekend. We’ve been married for thirty four years now and I appreciate him more and more each year. We’ve been through a lot together. I can only hope that we will have many more years together! Happy Birthday sweetie!