I love you Ife. I do. I love you so much I’m going to say how much. In numbered detail.
So, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways:
1. I love you because you dragged me to JESUS. You saw a dying spark, and you puffed and fanned on the spark till it became a flame. It is a roaring flame now.
2. I love you because you are reasonably happy. You know how I dislike constant complaining. And through everything in your life, you’ve stayed reasonably happy. And taught me how to do and be the same too.
3. I love you because you teach me something new every time I see you. It doesn’t have to be a vocal lesson. You’ve taught me attitude lessons, prayer lessons, Bible lessons, every possible type of lesson.
4. I love you because you are one of the very few people who has NEVER CALLED ME GAY (Aside: I like people, I like holding them sometimes and when they are my friends, all the time. Dear people, GET OVER IT! I AM NOT GAY! I DO NOT HAVE ANY HOMOSEXUAL LEANINGS. And if I dress like a boy and forget to put on my “I’m such a pretty girl, look at me” face sometimes, please never make the mistake of calling me gay. To my face or anywhere else. It’s been years since I drop- kicked anyone. Do NOT annoy me down that path again)
5. I love you because you are practically the only person who calls me the day after my birthday to find out how I feel about how it went.
6. I love you because I have not been able to make you afraid. Of me or for my sanity. And I tried. Oh how I have tried. I think I still do sometimes.
7. I love you because you operate as a check on my exuberance, a spark when I’m down and peace when I’m pissed.
8. I love you because you apologised to me. When I yelled. At you. Till date, I’m certain that GOD would have slapped me upside my head had I not apologised to you immediately afterwards. That still surprises me. Even to this day.
9. I love you because you correct me without making me feel stupid.
10. I love you because I (try to) see the best in other people because you searched for the best in me when I didn’t think I had any to show.
11. I love you because you taught me that friendship is never just about me.
12. I love you because you are coded. Even I, with my years of practice, am not as coded as you are. But baby, trust that I’m proud of that in you.
13. I love you because you are not jealous of my time. Or of my attention. If I have ignored you, you take it in your stride and never complain. Yet you never ignore me out of revenge. You are the sweetest person. I just wanted you to know that.
14. I love you because I met Joy because of you. It took longer than it had to. Too busy spreading this awesomeness around you know. But I love her. She is even happier than you! *gasp*.
15. I love you because you have loved me. Abundantly. Over abundantly. You have loved me through my prissiness, through my irritations, through my fears and through my failures. You loved and cared about me the whole time. You love me every time. When I can’t stop crying. When I am so enraged I’m kicking chairs and tables, when I’m cussing like sailors originally became known for. When I am sick and infected. When I’m depressed and unhappy. You’ve loved me through all of that and never said a word in complaint. Only in comfort.
16. I love you for your interest in everything. In life, in the spectacular. In everything. DO NOT LOSE THAT INTEREST HONEY. IT STANDS YOU OUT.
17. I love you because you actually care about my blog.
18. I love you because anytime I have had roommate drama you’ve taken the case up to GOD for and with me.
19. I love you because you never tried to understand me before you made the decision to love me.
20. I love you because though you sometimes don’t understand why I am who I am or why I do the things I do, you adore me for every step I take in the right direction anyway.
21. I love you because though I call you “baby”, I think of you more as mommy.
22. I love you because you CELEBRATE me. You have celebrated me so much over the years that I have had no excuse for being less than all I can be, all that GOD created me to be.
You bring the best out of me every time. And you love me even when I’m being too stubborn to give you that best. The question should not be: How do I love you? The question should be: How could I NOT love you? Who would not love you? You are awesome. You are spectacular. You are Ifeoluwa E. Ayinoluwa. Your mother’s birthday present. God’s present to me. You are smart. You are kind. You are an addition, never a subtraction. A multiplication, never a division. And you are wonderful.
Happy birthday Sweetheart!