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Dear Husband: Most of all, thank you for the things no one asked you to do

So often during our busy days, the little phrase of “thank you” is thrown around without restrain. Thank you for taking out the trash. Thank you for reminding me you’re the one picking our son up from childcare. Thank you for granting my request for 10 minutes of alone time.

Of course, there’s nothing wrong with that. There’s no cost attached to “thank you,” but a great one that comes in its absence.

But recently it occurred to me that “thank you” does often go without saying—when it actually deserves to be said the most: Those times when you do things without asking. Without expectation. Without need for notice.

Because I still do notice. And, My Love, thank you...

Thank you for quietly walking with our son outside to play after you notice I’ve fallen asleep on the couch.

Thank you for volunteering for more hours at work after you saw me anxiously checking the bank account following unexpected expenses.

Thank you for modeling how to balance interests and responsibilities—and then empowering me to do the same.

Thank you for never accusing me of being hormonal, even though that’s probably what caused my irrational breakdown over our toddler’s misplaced hat that I just loved so much during my first trimester with baby No. 2.

Thank you for telling me I’m beautiful, even when it’s 7 a.m. and that’s probably spit-up on my robe.

Thank you for encouraging me to buy a new outfit for myself “because you don’t buy many clothes for yourself,” even though you would never ask for something in exchange.

Thank you for doing the dishes that were left in the sink overnight first thing in the morning—when I’m still too groggy to notice they were ever left behind.

Thank you for wrestling with our son one minute and then joyfully reading him a fairytale the next.

Most of all, thank you for doing this life with me as we figure out just how much the better in “for better or worse” really is when we’re in it together.

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