It’s Curtis James’ birthday today. He’s younger than I am.
He was born and raised in Grand Rapids into a respected furniture design family. He lived on Kellogg Street his entire life until we married and moved out here to TexasNorth 3 years ago. He is the 2nd of 4 children, the only blonde, and the only engineer.
He’s intense. I’ve never seen him do something at less than 100%… which is fun in building houses and a little ridiculous when playing Monopoly. He still holds a track hurdle record at his high school and he won Nationals in college. He knows very little about defeat… not because he’s good at everything but more so because he’s a planner. He makes a goal, he works at it, he wins. Effort. He’s all about effort.
His understanding of numbers is extreme. Acreage and insurance quotes and mortgages and derivatives are comforting to him. I’ve caught him on a long drive home calibrating his speedometer by measuring time and space between the mile markers. Whatever.
Oh, but he’s not perfect.
He is a terrible iron-er. He leaves kitchen and bathroom cupboards wide open. He’s too loud with small children (until they get to the fire-building age… then he’s Awesome Uncle Curt). His understanding of time (as in, I’ll be gone for 10 minutes) is questionable. He has an extreme deficiency in knowledge of Pop Culture and is not the best-read man I’ve ever met. You know, important things.
I personally never thought I would marry. Not for lack of desire, but for lack of confidence. I couldn’t imagine meeting someone that I wouldn’t drive crazy OR that I would be able to tolerate for more than 1 day. I didn’t really understand how relationships work, last, or even come into being. Fortunately, at 25, God threw this kid at me who was smarter, gentler, and more confident than I could ever imagine. Fortunately, at 25, God threw me at a guy that I could talk back to, who thought I was beautiful, and who had completely different strengths than I do. Our relationship has busted every theory of coincidence. We are simply not possible without God.
Today I thank God for this scrawny, knock-kneed kid who grew up to be a star and a builder and a worker and a provider and a farmer and a husband. He is a man of God in both strength and weakness, and the world- our small corner of the world– is a better place because of him. I will make him a marbled vanilla cake, and I will grill some serious steaks for him. Trips around the sun are important… and we give thanks for the people in our lives.
Give him a yell, a memory, a laugh… he is the quiet half of this blog, but he’s always in here somewhere.
Happy Birthday, Curty. You’re awesome.