We’ve been married for 19 years today. She is my ubuntu. My meaning. I am because we are. I can tell you how much I love her and never get even close to telling you how I really feel. How she makes me feel. How she makes me better than what I am. I can never tell you How I Love My Wife…

How do I love my wife? In so many ways…

I love how I never want to write about my love for her because I know that I can never say it just the way I want to. And how I know that I still wouldn’t be able to say or write it the right way even if I was more gifted than Shakespeare. How words can never tell the story of my love for her. Because words have boundaries.

I love how I travel all over the world and still eat in my hotel room because nothing is worth experiencing without her next to me. How every scene is so much more beautiful and every morsel tastes so much better when she can see it and taste it. I love how she doesn’t get why I eat alone my hotel room.

I love how she holds me and asks me what is wrong when I don’t know how to say what is wrong. When all that is wrong is that the world just got a little bit too heavy. And that all I need is her arms around me to make me feel safe and strong again.

I love how I listen to that stupid Hero song of Enrique and cry because I just want to be her hero. I just want to wipe away the tears. I want to kiss away the pain. I just want to stand by her forever. Because she always takes my breath away.

I love how she has to bite her lip when she laughs when I do my silly South African accents. And how she laughs with no sound and the tears runs down her face. And she’s laughing at my stupid jokes.

I love how she pretends to need me even though she is so much stronger than me. I know she doesn’t climb mountains. She will make the mountains come to her. And that they will just obey.

I love how she speaks with a “little voice” when she gets back from shopping and asks me “Don’t you want to help me carry?” And how I know there will be a little something in there for me.

I love how I try to be funny and tell silly jokes and how I peep at her to see if she is laughing. And how I carry on until I see the beauty of her smile. And the happiness in her laughter.

I love how I used to hate Tom Cruise for taking the best line with “You complete me”. But how I know he didn’t even get close. She makes me. Not complete. She just makes me. Me.

I love how she laughs and shakes her head and says “What am I going to do with you?” whenever I make one of my suggestive comments. And how I do it just to hear those words.

I love how people make fun of me for always talking about my wife whenever they travel with me. How they poke fun at me for missing my wife and always phoning her.

I love how I look at her and compare every girl I see to her. And how no one compares even if they are on the pages of magazines or in leading roles in the movies. 

I love how she is the centre of our universe. How she holds everything together and give meaning to our family. Stronger than gravity or any law of science.

I love how my smile gets bigger the closer I get to home. How I just want to run and laugh because I know she will be there and everything will be just fine.

I love how she asks me to tickle her back and that I have no hope in hell of getting one back. But how I don’t mind because I just love touching her.

I love how she wanted me even though she could get anyone she wanted. And how she stays with me even though she can get anyone she wants. 

I love seeing her walk and watching her when she doesn’t know I am looking. And how I still have to build up the courage to ask her out.

I love how her hand feels in mine when we walk with the girls. I love how I touch her while she’s walking and kiss her on her cheek.

I love how I tell her I love her whenever I see her. Even if I just came into the kitchen from the lounge. I love how she says it back. 

I love how my heart still races when I kiss her when we make out. How her lips make me forget everything that makes me mad.

I love how she had a picture of Sawyer from Lost on her screen and how she doesn’t know I have one of her on mine.

I love how she acts all needy when she wants me to get her some Coke or crisps. And how I love getting it for her.

I love how it sometimes feels as if I am going to burst because our love feels like it is bigger than the cosmos.

I love how she buys me the new Springsteen album even though she hates his music because I overplayed it.

I love how she used to remind me of Sinead O’Connor, but how Sinead now reminds me of my wife.

I love how she is the last person I speak to before I fly off and the first person I phone when I land.

I love how I still get butterflies when she reaches for my hand without her knowing she is doing it.

I love how she eggs me on to go play with the girls even though she knows it will drive her crazy.

I love how she is the first thing that touches my lips in the morning and the last thing at night.

I love how she holds me and looks into my eyes when she tells me that she loves me more.

I love how I know why John was clinging to Yoko like that on the Rolling Stones cover.

I love how she phones me 4 or 5 times a day even if I can only take a call or two.

I love how I know what it means to love someone more than I love life.

I love how I know every part of her body but still don’t know enough.

I love how she completes my sentences and makes more sense.

I love how she puts her hand on my leg when we go for a drive.

I love how she believes in me even when I have my doubts.

I love how I would rather be at home than anywhere else.

I love how I do everything just to impress her.

I love how I know real love because of her.

I love how she loves me.

I love how I love her.

I love her.

I love how I can write another million words and still not tell you how I love my wife.

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I can write and write about my baby and never get enough or ever get close to telling you how I feel. Here are a few more about my baby and me:

Quick! Pull My Finger!

She Had To Wee

The Girl I Didn’t Like (or How I Met My Wife)

Ubuntu (or It’s Like Breathing)

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I have two girls. Two beautiful girls. A little princess. And a slightly bigger angel. My girls. My life.

My girls they love to dance. Ballet. Jazz. Hip Hop. Tap. Crazy. You name the style and they have it. Just a shame their dad was born with two left feet…

I have the dancing ability of the Elephant Man. Some say it is cute. And then laugh when they can’t keep a straight face. Others just burst into laughter straight away. But it hasn’t stopped us from dancing our life away. It hasn’t stopped us from having our music moments. Let me tell you a bit about those moments…

I lie in on Sunday mornings. Not too late. But a little. My beautiful and suffering wife takes on Sunday mornings. Making Belgium waffles or pancakes or vetkoeke. And bacon. In the words of my little princess… “I loooove bacon”. But it sounds more like “I luuuuuuuuv bay-kin”. It’s Boston you see. It is rubbing off on her. But I lie in like a lord while the smell of love fills the air.

But I don’t lie alone. My big angel comes to join me. Just the two of us. Little princess is in the kitchen with mom learning how to cook. So we lie in bed. She lies in my arms and together we listen to music. No. We “play argue” about music. Channel hopping between VH1 Classics and MTV. She laughs at the big hair of the 80s and the crap music back then. I laugh at the lack of proper lyrics and new styles in the music of today. And we argue about who has the best music taste. She rolls her eyes when I go “Yeah” to Springsteen dancing with the Courtney Cox or do my MC Hammer impressions to “Can’t Touch This“. I laugh at her doing a hip hop impression with her skinny legs and the girlie voice when she goes “Yo!”

But sometimes we go quiet for a moment. A song comes up that makes us go quiet. And we just lie there. She in my arms. And I hold her a little bit tighter than before. It’s then that the music knows no age. It’s when the music goes straight to the heart. And the stomach. It just tells you to lie back and listen to the voice and melody. The words doesn’t even matter. It’s just a song that reminds the two of us that we are lucky. Lucky to have a mom who loves us. And a mom we love. And a little sister that’s a little bit crazy. And lucky that we have our little Sunday morning of music. And love.

We always goes quiet when Sinead O’Connor tells us Nothing Compares. Because we know. Nothing compares. Nothing compares to the laughing and the music in our house. To the love you can almost touch in our house. And nothing compares to the big angel and me lying back and enjoying our Sunday morning of music. Just a dad and his girl.

Sinead always does that to me. I look at her face and remember that she was the first crush I had. But it was just that video. And when she cries. When the tears starts rolling down her face. All I wanted to do was just hold her and say “It’s okay Sinead, we love you”. Of course I knew it was just a video. Just a song. But I always felt that she just needed a hug and a whisper that “it’ll be okay”.

But there is a new song that also makes us go quiet. A song of today. It’s not the words. Like Nothing Compares wasn’t about the words. It was about Sinead being lost without love. She reminds me about those out there with no love. Those with no Sunday mornings. This new song just reminds me that there isn’t enough love out there.

It’s different from Sinead. This song doesn’t make me feel sorry for singer. The song doesn’t tell you about the love that is missing in that life. But this song hits me. Always. I don’t know what it is. But it reminds me that most people don’t know that love. Love that hurts because it is so good. Love that makes you cry because you are so happy. This song haunts me. It makes me miss people I don’t even know. And I can see my angel feels the same when we lie in bed and listen to this song. Watching the tv. But not seeing the song. Just letting it flow.

That’s my Sunday morning of music. And love. And then there is the Sunday afternoon of music and love. Crazy music. Crazy times. Crazy love. That’s my little princess. And Love Is In The Air.

It’s from one of my favorite movies of all time. Strictly Ballroom. Make no mistake. I am not into ballroom. Or musicals for that matter. But this is one awesome movie. This guy can dance. And you should see me and my little princess make our moves on this song.

It’s just crazy. I never tell her when I am going to play it. Never. I just switch it on and watch her reaction. She’ll be in the lounge and I’ll put the boom-box on in the kitchen. Loud. No. LOUD! All she needs are those first few keys to play. And then she runs into the kitchen and shouts, “Louder dad! Louder!” So I turn it louder. Max. And then she jumps up for me to catch her. And hold her. Hang on baby, here we go!

You start off with a few slow swings. Her legs clamped around my middle. I take her hands and she falls back. Her long hair almost hitting the ground. And I wiggle her arms for her whole little body to shake. I swing her up and grab her by her middle. And flip her up in the air. Her head almost touching the roof. Her eyes jumps open wide with a mixture of exhilaration and happiness. I can hear her laugh and giggling throughout the song. I swing her around my body – over my shoulder and around my back. Her feet never touching the floor. It’s wild. And it gets wilder. She stretches out like Superman while I hold her up in the air and move her forward and backwards. And spin her a bit more. And then the song hits a high note and beat. And I swing her head back. Holding her head with one hand and her back with the other. And I start spinning. Around and around. Keeping up with the beat. And going faster and faster as that piece builds up and builds up. And then… BANG! “Love is in the air!” Full swing. I see nothing but her face laughing. Her mouth open with the happiness of just dancing. Her eyes wide open with pleasure. Her arms swinging outstretched. Complete trust that her dad will hold her tight enough no matter how fast we go. Her complete love for her crazy dad dancing his silly dance on a Sunday afternoon.

And when it is over? “Again dad! Again!” Love Is In The Air. On a Sunday afternoon.

But this song is also different. The words are true. The beat belies the words. The words…

Love is in the air
Everywhere I look around
Love is in the air
Every sight and every sound
And I don’t know if I’m being foolish
Don’t know if I’m being wise
But it’s something that I must believe in
And it’s there when I look in your eyesLove is in the air.

Love is in the air
In the whisper of the tree
Love is in the air
In the thunder of the sea
And I don’t know if I’m just dreaming
Don’t know if I feel safe
But it’s something that I must believe in
And it’s there when you call out my name

Love is in the air
Love is in the air

Love is in the air
In the rising of the sun
Love is in the air
When the day is nearly done
And I don’t know if you are an illusion
Don’t know if I see truth
But you are something that I must believe in
And you are there when I reach out for you

Love is in the air
Everywhere I look around
Love is in the air
Every sight and every sound
And I don’t know if I’m being foolish
Don’t know if I’m being wise
But it’s something that I must believe in
And it’s there when I look in your eyes

Love is in the air
Love is in the air

Love is in the air
Love is in the air

Sometimes with music. Always with love. Sometimes on a Sunday. Always every day. Love is in the air. In my home.

Love Is In The Air

Love Is In The Air

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Do you remember The Angel Maker? The one who makes angels from us ordinary people? I can tell you so much about her and never tell you even half the story. She is an angel now. I know she is because she’s been looking after me and my family for these last few weeks. I know she has been here. But this is about a message that came from those around her. The last line in an email I got from Uncle D had a simple message: “Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.” I am sure you know this line. But I didn’t.  

What takes my breath away?

My wife. She takes my breath away every single day. Words can never tell you how much I love her. Words can be deleted. My love for her can never be deleted. She makes me. She just makes me. I want nothing but her in life. Just a look. A smile. A little laugh. A hug. A whisper in my ear that she loves me. Squeezing my hand while we walk. Telling me she loves me more. Rolling her eyes when I do something silly. The way she drives the car and bitches at other drivers. Buying me a Starbucks on the way back from picking up the girls from ballet or school. Getting excited about the presents for the girls. Sharing a meal while the girls go wild. Lying in bed and reading a book. Just little moments when I know she is there. Twenty-four hours a day. She takes my breath away.

She takes my breath away by just being her. I always steal a glimpse at her when she isn’t looking. When she doesn’t know that I am looking. And my heart skips a beat. I look at her and can’t believe that we are together. That she loves me just the way I am. Warts and all. Craziness and everything.

She takes my breath away by just being with me. I can disappear in her lips. It’s the place where everything stops meaning anything. There is just her and me. Meant to be together. I love how I know every curve and how I am still amazed by the way she feels. Still surprised at how I love her more every day. I didn’t know it was possible to love this much and in this way.

She just takes my breath away. Every single second of every single day and in every single way imaginable.

We’ve gone through good times and tough times. But one thing always stayed the same. Us…

There has never been any doubt about us. Nothing comes between us. No amount of pressure will shake us. No amount of problems will break us. Everything makes us stronger because we know no matter what happens we are okay because we have us. The bad times make us stronger because it brings us closer. The good times makes us stronger because it brings us closer. Nothing can break what has no boundaries and no limitations. Us…

It’s amazing how we have been married for more than 15 years and it only gets better each day. I am amazed by knowing tomorrow will get even better even though I have no clue how it can get better than what we have today.

You know I struggle to tell you how I feel about her because words are just words… How I struggle to tell you how I love my wife.

Some say you should be friends to make it work. I don’t agree with that. We are best friends. I want to do everything with her and only her. It doesn’t matter whether it is watching rugby or going to the movies or exploring a new city or reading a new book. I just want to be next to her and share it with her. But I can’t be friends with her. Or rather… I can’t just be friends with her. She means more than that. She is everything. My friends and my lover. My world and my meaning.

And I don’t agree that you must “make it work”. Yes, you have to talk about things and share with each other. But it isn’t work. It’s just being. When you love someone totally and completely then it isn’t work. Work means thinking about it and planning it. Doing it because you love someone means you do it because it is the way it is. Naturally. Like breathing… You don’t think about it. You just do it because it is the way it is. Love is not planned. It just is.

That takes my breath away. Us. Because it just is…

Complete.

My wife… What can I say about her? She is always there for me. Always giving up her own life for me. She studied with me. Yes, that was where we met. But she gave up her own career for me to pursue my dreams. I know, she will say our dreams. But the honest truth is that she gave up her future career for me to go off and tackle the world. Always taking a back seat…

My wife. A bright as you can get. A mind as sharp as her tongue! And damn! If only you knew how sharp that tongue can be! I always tell people to rather deal with me because I am the easy one. The soft one. But you mess with her… Man, man, man… All hell will break lose! Remind me that I tell you about the poor insurance guy one day. Haha! I don’t think he ever recovered.

Anyway…

My wife… We moved to the UK and she gave up her own business for me to go and work for peanuts at Oxfam. Because that was what I wanted to do. That was what I needed to do. We really earned nothing because of an “administrative” slip-up by Oxfam. It meant my salary wasn’t what they promised it would be… More at Oxfam, my salary and me.

You know what my wife did? She went to work in a pub. She was pregnant… But she had to go and work somewhere for us to earn a bit more money because I got us into that situation. She stuck with it until I found a better paying job two years later. That’s what my wife did. That’s what my proud pregnant wife went to do in a strange country. She went to work at a pub because she loves me. And then I wanted to come and work in the USA.

It was even worse for her. She can’t work here. Nada. Nothing. Zero. Zilch. My H1B visa allows me to work in my job and my job alone. I can’t even write a book and sell one single copy… And my wife? She is on an H4 visa. Guess what? She is not allowed to earn one single cent. She can’t even start her own business. My wife… That is how much she loves me. She would do everything for me. She has done everything for me. She has given up her life just for us to be together and for me to explore the world.

This take-no-shit, bright as hell, (and hotter than hell) proud, strong and suffering woman will do all that just for me. Can you imagine that?

And that isn’t even half the story. Apart from giving all that up she loves a crazy man. Her suffering is double what you can imagine!

Baby, I love you so much. I truly know what it means to love someone more than life itself. Because without you there will be no life. No me. I love you more… I think of you every single minute of my day. I always just want to be with you. Hold you and love you. (And all that other good stuff as well!)

I wrote this to you a few months ago. I can add to this each and every single day. Because my love for you is more than what it was yesterday. And I can’t wait for tomorrow when it will be even more and better. I am one lucky, lucky man to have found the one person who makes me better than what I was meant to be. I am nothing without you. But I am everything because of you.

You have given up so much just for me. And the girls. You tolerate us. And you love us. Without asking anything back. All I have to give you is me. Totally.

A reminder. So incomplete. But it will have to do to give you a glimpse of how much you make me who I am. Baby, I love you. More…

How I Love My Wife

How do I love my wife? In so many ways…

I love how I never want to write about my love for her because I know that I can never say it just the way I want to. And how I know that I still wouldn’t be able to say or write it the right way even if I was more gifted than Shakespeare. How words can never tell the story of my love for her. Because words have boundaries.

I love how I travel all over the world and still eat in my hotel room because nothing is worth experiencing without her next to me. How every scene is so much more beautiful and every morsel tastes so much better when she can see it and taste it. I love how she doesn’t get why I eat alone my hotel room.

I love how she holds me and asks me what is wrong when I don’t know how to say what is wrong. When all that is wrong is that the world just got a little bit too heavy. And that all I need is her arms around me to make me feel safe and strong again.

I love how I listen to that stupid Hero song of Enrique and cry because I just want to be her hero. I just want to wipe away the tears. I want to kiss away the pain. I just want to stand by her forever. Because she always takes my breath away.

I love how she has to bite her lip when she laughs when I do my silly South African accents. And how she laughs with no sound and the tears runs down her face. And she’s laughing at my stupid jokes.

I love how she pretends to need me even though she is so much stronger than me. I know she doesn’t climb mountains. She will make the mountains come to her. And that they will just obey.

I love how she speaks with a “little voice” when she gets back from shopping and asks me “Don’t you want to help me carry?” And how I know there will be a little something in there for me.

I love how I try to be funny and tell silly jokes and how I peep at her to see if she is laughing. And how I carry on until I see the beauty of her smile. And the happiness in her laughter.

I love how I used to hate Tom Cruise for taking the best line with “You complete me”. But how I know he didn’t even get close. She makes me. Not complete. She just makes me. Me.

I love how she laughs and shakes her head and says “What am I going to do with you?” whenever I make one of my suggestive comments. And how I do it just to hear those words.

I love how people make fun of me for always talking about my wife whenever they travel with me. How they poke fun at me for missing my wife and always phoning her.

I love how I look at her and compare every girl I see to her. And how no one compares even if they are on the pages of magazines or in leading roles in the movies. 

I love how she is the centre of our universe. How she holds everything together and give meaning to our family. Stronger than gravity or any law of science.

I love how my smile gets bigger the closer I get to home. How I just want to run and laugh because I know she will be there and everything will be just fine.

I love how she asks me to tickle her back and that I have no hope in hell of getting one back. But how I don’t mind because I just love touching her.

I love how she wanted me even though she could get anyone she wanted. And how she stays with me even though she can get anyone she wants. 

I love seeing her walk and watching her when she doesn’t know I am looking. And how I still have to build up the courage to ask her out.

I love how her hand feels in mine when we walk with the girls. I love how I touch her while she’s walking and kiss her on her cheek.

I love how I tell her I love her whenever I see her. Even if I just came into the kitchen from the lounge. I love how she says it back. 

I love how my heart still races when I kiss her when we make out. How her lips make me forget everything that makes me mad.

I love how she had a picture of Sawyer from Lost on her screen and how she doesn’t know I have one of her on mine.

I love how she acts all needy when she wants me to get her some Coke or crisps. And how I love getting it for her.

I love how it sometimes feels as if I am going to burst because our love feels like it is bigger than the cosmos.

I love how she buys me the new Springsteen album even though she hates his music because I overplayed it.

I love how she used to remind me of Sinead O’Connor, but how Sinead now reminds me of my wife.

I love how she is the last person I speak to before I fly off and the first person I phone when I land.

I love how I still get butterflies when she reaches for my hand without her knowing she is doing it.

I love how she eggs me on to go play with the girls even though she knows it will drive her crazy.

I love how she is the first thing that touches my lips in the morning and the last thing at night.

I love how she holds me and looks into my eyes when she tells me that she loves me more.

I love how I know why John was clinging to Yoko like that on the Rolling Stones cover.

I love how she phones me 4 or 5 times a day even if I can only take a call or two.

I love how I know what it means to love someone more than I love life.

I love how I know every part of her body but still don’t know enough.

I love how she completes my sentences and makes more sense.

I love how she puts her hand on my leg when we go for a drive.

I love how she believes in me even when I have my doubts.

I love how I would rather be at home than anywhere else.

I love how I do everything just to impress her.

I love how I know real love because of her.

I love how she loves me.

I love how I love her.

I love her.

I love how I can write another million words and still not tell you how I love my wife.

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I love Saturdays. Come on, don’t be so cynical! No, not only because it is weekend. See, Saturday is my day at the dancing with the little one.

My girls love to dance and they are always off at some dance class. The older one does tap, jazz, ballet, hip-hop, modern, post-modern and existential. I think the last one is a bit of a rip-off. The teacher only shows up if she wants to and it is a continuous hit-and-miss as you never know if you want to go in any case. Even if you do, you pick your own time to show up anywhere you believe a dance should take place. I think Jean-Paul Sartre’sinterpretation of the Nutcracker hurts in any case…

Wait… Where am I? Oh yes, dancing and Saturdays…

I miss all the dancing sessions of my oldest daughter. Her classes are during the week when I am at work. I don’t think she would like me there in any case. Dad’s cool but also a little bit embarrassing. As you will see…

My lovely suffering wife lets me lie in a little bit on a Saturday. Just for a little while for the little one to hop into bed with me and for the two of us to play draw-on-the-back. I draw a picture on her back with my fingers and she must guess what it is – and she does the same on my back. Heck, it’s the only way I get a bit of a back tickle in our house. I don’t know whether it is the hairy back or just a girl thing, but none of the girls likes giving me a back tickle – including my lovely suffering wife (Yes, the same one that gets a back tickle almost every single night.) I’m not too picky, but I do think that my daughter is cheating. How many times can you draw a ball? A round one? And how many times can I say, “I don’t know what that is. Draw it again!”

Anyway…

We lie in for a few minutes and then it is a rush downstairs to slurp down some serial – Coco Pops! And for me to get my coffee fix. Then we race upstairs (with a giggle or two) to brush our teeth and for me to get rid of some of the coffee…

And then I dress the pretty ballerina.

That takes a while. First I rub her body with some cream so that the stockings and ballerina outfit don’t make her itchy. She’ll stop half-way through with me still trying to get her clothes on – she stops just to do a little twirl and to shout, “Look at me dad! I’m a pretty ballerina!” We are now officially running late. Again… It happens every Saturday morning. We always run late. We always have to work out an excuse for being late while rushing to at least try and make it in time.

“Hurry up you two! No time to play!” That’s my wife reminding us that it we really don’t have time for this. Especially not this morning. It’s a special day at ballet today…

My wife does the little one’s hair while I put on the rest of her clothes. The ballet tag team. I’m not good at hair but can do pants and shirts. Done! Get jackets on. Hats. Gloves. Scarves. And anything and everything else we need to face the cold outside. Then we jump in the car and rush down to ballet class – swearing softly (and sometimes loudly) at the slow driving oxygen thief on a site seeing cruise ahead of us.

I usually go on my own to the dancing with my little one. We are not allowed inside “the room” to watch in any case. So I sit outside in the hallway and read a book and listen to my iPod. I sometimes even blog from there. But not today. Today I can watch! And…

Every now and again the family can come in to watch. And our gang always goes in full force with all the troops accounted for. No one left behind. Today was going to be even better – A special holiday show just for us. The Nutcracker!

Only the little ones and a few of the older and more experienced dancers to show them the way. Always a ball. They were all there – the Nutcracker, Clara, the Mice, the Russian dancer, the Chinese dancer, the Spanish dancer and the Arabian dancer. No, I don’t mean that the class is very international – I think it is a bit of a twist of the original one. I laughed my ass off so many times that my wife had to tell me to shush a few times. And to tell me and the oldest one to keep quiet because we kept on whispering and giggling while pointing at the little one. She was just so damn cute. Our little ballerina. What fun. What a Saturday. And with any luck, it might just get even better for me today…

And then came my moment. The one I have been waiting for. I was made for moments like these. All my years of training. Just for this. Deep breathe…

“Any of the dads want to volunteer to come and do some dancing with us?”

Yeah! Wait…

Play it cool…

Don’t look to eager…

Let them beg just a little…

“Oh, come on dad!” from my kids and the teacher saying “Come now Mr H. We know you want to!”

The big African-American guy sitting next to me gave me the “look” and laughed. The look of you-are-not-really-going-to-do-this-are-you. I laughed and noticed that he never took off his Timberland boots before sitting down. Amateur…

Ha! I took my exact matching pair of Timberlands off before I even came in. I left it outside knowing that I can’t dance in them. I came prepared…

I shook my head as I got up “reluctantly”. A few laughs from the crowd – especially from that section where my gang of girls were sitting and my new boet sitting next to me. I went over to my spot and took a deep breath. Closed my eyes slightly to compose and then… First position…

Or what I thought was first position. The “proper” guy dancer looked over at me and gave me the “sorry sod” smile. He’s a nice guy. But he is about 16 and I am turning… hum… slightly older tomorrow! (Yes, 14 December is my birthday!) He was going to “lead” me through my steps. As if I needed any instructions or help…

Plié.” WTF? Oh! No. Wait… I know this one. Bendy knees!

Head straight and bendy knees. Done. Just look at that composure!

“Again!” Damn… I hardly got up from that last one…

“Again! Three times and then a jump like this!”

What? Who? Where? Hey!

Bendy knees and a jump. And again. And again!

I started losing track of the stuff we were doing. Changement de pieds could have been one. And fouetté rond de jambe en tournant must have been one. The twirling around 360 degrees. No problem… (Getting slightly tired and maybe a bit of huffing and puffing…)

Running around in circles and jumping those scissor jumps or whatever they call it. It looked like I was doing hurdles unsuccessfully. I was losing track of what the guy is shouting at me. More of the jumping in the air and bendy legs stuff. And all I heard was, “Again!” I couldn’t really hear much else from all the heavy breathing and wheezing…

Damn! I was actually enjoying it. But that young dude sure had a wicket little smile on his face. Did he like seeing pain like this? Better watch it buddy… Hope you can handle pain when I grand sas d’action or frappé him in his Nutcracker…

Me? I saw glimpses of Mikhail Baryshnikov whenever I saw a bit of myself in the mirror. So gracious… So composed… So stupid!

I love it. I love watching my wife and kids look at me making a fool of myself. Hearing the other dads (and moms and kids) laughing at the stupid guy doing the silly ridiculous attempts at ballet. I just love it and kept on doing it with a big stupid grin on my face.

I’m a pretty ballerina…

Okay. I’m not.

But boy, do I love doing it. I love it when it was done and I did a little curtsy to the parents and to my danseur. The big smile and big shiny eyes I see from my little one. The high five and giggle I get from my oldest one. The smile and you-silly-you-I-love-you look I get from my wife.

Yes…

I love being the stupid dad that always “volunteers” to go do the silly stuff. That’s me. Just call me Volunteer Dad. Anything to see those faces and feel their love. Anything. Especially when I can be silly and have a laugh as well.

Next time you see the guy doing the stupid thing in front of his family – that’s me.

You should know this by now. Remember Things To Do Before You Die? Or When Dad Came To Watch? That’s me. Stupid, silly and madly in love with my gang of girls. Anything and everything just for them. Because it is also for me.

And me dance pretty…

ballerina-plate

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You know about me and my lovely suffering wife. You might have noticed that I like her. I like her a lot.

Okay, maybe like isn’t the right word. I love her more than anything else in the world. Anything.

And guess what! On Thanksgiving Day we celebrate another special day. Our day. We have been married for 15 years. Or as she might want to say, “15 long, long years”. It feels like yesterday. Only better.

Yeah! 15 years baby! And I can’t wait for the next 50! (Or more, please.)

With her I am not the Angry African. With her I am just me. Baggage and all. Hang-ups and all. She makes me.

I am happy because she makes me a better person than what I really am. She makes me want to be a hero just for her. No one else. And she makes me want to change the world. Because she deserves a world of peace, love and happiness. She deserves nothing less but a perfect life. And I want to give that to her. A world like her.

I am happy because she taught me how to love completely. I never have to hold back or look back. Loving her makes me. Without her love there is no love. But because I have her love I can love so much more. And it grows every day. It feels like I will explode with happiness and love. That is how she makes me feel.

I am happy because she has shown me how to live. Each day with her is another day of life worth living. Because I am with her. A life. Another day of feeling the way I feel. And tomorrow brings even more. She makes me believe I can take on the world. I can take it on and that we can win. Live life. That is who she is.

I am happy because every single day of my life is better than the day before. And tomorrow will be even better. All because she loved me yesterday, she loves me today, and tomorrow we will love even more. She loves me and makes each day a better day. She brings the sunshine to my life. That is who she is.

I am happy because I am nothing without her. She is my life. She makes me complete. She makes me live life. That is who she is.

Without her I will fail. Without her I can’t love the way I do. Without her I can’t be who I am. Without her there is no me. There is no life to live.

I love my wife. And you will never know how much.

Babe, thank you so much for giving me 15 years of happiness I never knew anyone could have. Thank you for giving me a future I can’t wait to see. Thank you for making me a better person than who I am. Thank you for loving me the way you do. Thank you for being so cocky. Thank you for telling me to shut up and not be so full of myself. Thank you for laughing at my stupid jokes. Thank you for making me the dad I want to be. Thank you for letting me be crazy with our girls. Thank you for giving us the girls. Thank you for loving me the way I am. Thank you for telling me to calm down. Thank you for letting me take on the world. Thank you for hugging me so tight. Thank you for humoring me. Thank you for hanging out with me. Thank you for hanging on to me! Thank you for giving me a reason to live. Thank you for letting me fight another day. Thank you for being so strong. Thank you for crying when you do. Thank you for the way you kiss. Thank you for holding me the way you do. Thank you for letting me love you the way I do. Thank you for just being you. Thank you for my life. Thank you for loving me the way you do. Thank you for living. Thank you for you. I am nothing without you.

You made me. And you make me.

Cheers! For the last 15 years and to the future together. Always.

(Oh, did I mention that she is as hot as hell? Well, be-liev-a me… She IS! And she’s mine!)

How do I love my wife? In so many ways… I can never write like that again. It still feels like an incomplete piece. There are so much more missing from there. Word can never describe how I feel about her. Never. But here it is again…

How I love my wife.

How do I love my wife? In so many ways…

I love how I never want to write about my love for her because I know that I can never say it just the way I want to. And how I know that I still wouldn’t be able to say or write it the right way even if I was more gifted than Shakespeare. How words can never tell the story of my love for her. Because words have boundaries.

I love how I travel all over the world and still eat in my hotel room because nothing is worth experiencing without her next to me. How every scene is so much more beautiful and every morsel tastes so much better when she can see it and taste it. I love how she doesn’t get why I eat alone my hotel room.

I love how she holds me and asks me what is wrong when I don’t know how to say what is wrong. When all that is wrong is that the world just got a little bit too heavy. And that all I need is her arms around me to make me feel safe and strong again.

I love how I listen to that stupid Hero song of Enrique and cry because I just want to be her hero. I just want to wipe away the tears. I want to kiss away the pain. I just want to stand by her forever. Because she always takes my breath away.

I love how she has to bite her lip when she laughs when I do my silly South African accents. And how she laughs with no sound and the tears runs down her face. And she’s laughing at my stupid jokes.

I love how she pretends to need me even though she is so much stronger than me. I know she doesn’t climb mountains. She will make the mountains come to her. And that they will just obey.

I love how she speaks with a “little voice” when she gets back from shopping and asks me “Don’t you want to help me carry?” And how I know there will be a little something in there for me.

I love how I try to be funny and tell silly jokes and how I peep at her to see if she is laughing. And how I carry on until I see the beauty of her smile. And the happiness in her laughter.

I love how I used to hate Tom Cruise for taking the best line with “You complete me”. But how I know he didn’t even get close. She makes me. Not complete. She just makes me. Me.

I love how she laughs and shakes her head and says “What am I going to do with you?” whenever I make one of my suggestive comments. And how I do it just to hear those words.

I love how people make fun of me for always talking about my wife whenever they travel with me. How they poke fun at me for missing my wife and always phoning her.

I love how I look at her and compare every girl I see to her. And how no one compares even if they are on the pages of magazines or in leading roles in the movies. 

I love how she is the centre of our universe. How she holds everything together and give meaning to our family. Stronger than gravity or any law of science.

I love how my smile gets bigger the closer I get to home. How I just want to run and laugh because I know she will be there and everything will be just fine.

I love how she asks me to tickle her back and that I have no hope in hell of getting one back. But how I don’t mind because I just love touching her.

I love how she wanted me even though she could get anyone she wanted. And how she stays with me even though she can get anyone she wants. 

I love seeing her walk and watching her when she doesn’t know I am looking. And how I still have to build up the courage to ask her out.

I love how her hand feels in mine when we walk with the girls. I love how I touch her while she’s walking and kiss her on her cheek.

I love how I tell her I love her whenever I see her. Even if I just came into the kitchen from the lounge. I love how she says it back. 

I love how my heart still races when I kiss her when we make out. How her lips make me forget everything that makes me mad.

I love how she had a picture of Sawyer from Lost on her screen and how she doesn’t know I have one of her on mine.

I love how she acts all needy when she wants me to get her some Coke or crisps. And how I love getting it for her.

I love how it sometimes feels as if I am going to burst because our love feels like it is bigger than the cosmos.

I love how she buys me the new Springsteen album even though she hates his music because I overplayed it.

I love how she used to remind me of Sinead O’Connor, but how Sinead now reminds me of my wife.

I love how she is the last person I speak to before I fly off and the first person I phone when I land.

I love how I still get butterflies when she reaches for my hand without her knowing she is doing it.

I love how she eggs me on to go play with the girls even though she knows it will drive her crazy.

I love how she is the first thing that touches my lips in the morning and the last thing at night.

I love how she holds me and looks into my eyes when she tells me that she loves me more.

I love how I know why John was clinging to Yoko like that on the Rolling Stones cover.

I love how she phones me 4 or 5 times a day even if I can only take a call or two.

I love how I know what it means to love someone more than I love life.

I love how I know every part of her body but still don’t know enough.

I love how she completes my sentences and makes more sense.

I love how she puts her hand on my leg when we go for a drive.

I love how she believes in me even when I have my doubts.

I love how I would rather be at home than anywhere else.

I love how I do everything just to impress her.

I love how I know real love because of her.

I love how she loves me.

I love how I love her.

I love her.

I love how I can write another million words and still not tell you how I love my wife.

___________________

Note: I know I drive her crazy. I don’t mean just crazy in love. I mean she has little sanity left thanks to me and the girls. I teach my girls the meaning of life… Like Quick! Pull my finger! Now that is an important lesson to learn. And sometimes I remind them that Love Is In The Air. Or just play her some of our music. But sometimes my wife just kicks me out the car. I cook for her. Well, sort of. She pokes fun at my cooking though. Giving away the Incinerated Chicken – Family Recipe. You want to know how we met? Well, she was The girl I didn’t like that much at first. She’s A Broad all right… Most of all, she is my last 15 years and my future.

Babe, I love you… more!

And I can’t wait for tomorrow…

It’s been a crazy, crazy week. Work has been busier than what I have experienced for a very long time. And the next few weeks will remain crazy. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel… A little spot called December. Just a flicker, but I hope it is a light and not a train. Not a train smash please.

So I haven’t been my blogging self over the last few days. I haven’t come over to visit much. Sorry about that. I miss reading what you all have to say. I’ll try to catch up over the weekend. And I still have another Souf Efrikan story to tell… About a certain dude family I know…

But in this crazy week… One thing stood out. When I go home. My wife. My lovely, beautiful wife. I just love going home. (And hate leaving home.) I might be tired at night when I go home but feel like running the closer I get to home. And then lying in bed next to her. Drifting off to sleep. Peace.

So this week I am dedicating my Friday Funk to my wife. A few songs that has stuck with us since we started dating. This is for you my baby. Let me start with our first song. And the song that is still our song. And the version we love.

This song was and is our first song. I used to sing (mime) it to her. We used to just turn it up whenever it came on. And then just lie there and listen and laugh. Babe, I can still see clearly now…

Sorry baby, I couldn’t get the video. But then, we never watched the video really… Just the song and the words.

Remember this one? When you played me the song, read me a poem and gave me flowers? It was that moment that we knew we were going to get married one day. And we did. It’s all coming back to me now…

Sorry – again I couldn’t get the video and the only version I could get was the long one. But that was what we listened to…

I could never watch this video without wanting to cry. And I could never watch this video without thinking of you. The hairstyle. That’s the hairstyle you had when we met! And the jaw line. Except you are so much hotter and better looking! Yes, because nothing compares to you…

Remember how we always miss home when we listen to this? I’ve taken you to a few places in our life already. I couldn’t do it if it wasn’t for you. I wouldn’t do it if it wasn’t for you. But we are the scatterlings of Africa…

The last one. This song… I listen to it almost every single day. Because this is how I want to be for you. It’s the pumped up version, but that who I want to be. A hero…

I know… It’s soppy. But it’s ours. And I love you.