“I wouldn’t have chosen any of this,” I told him, swallowing tears around the lump in my throat. Not the health issues, not the new baby coming early, not the house hunt and the impending move before my body settled down from the birth enough to really enjoy my baby, not the homeschooling, not any changes at all if I could have chosen anything. In my world, after spending my life on the move, having the solidity of a home to be in and dream in and make room for my family in is a dream come true, and saying goodbye to this house I’ve lived in and worked in and made work for us for four years was not on my to-do list.
But here we are, Pete and I, in one of the craziest, craziest weeks of our lives together (seriously – we are living to the Looney Toons theme right now). For months, I have been walking quietly beside him as he has pursued his dream of owning a home, as we’ve made decisions about staying in Charleston and moving our family into a more permanent home here, as we’ve ruled this house out and offered on that house. I have been honest with my opinions about things, but I have walked with him because I love him, and I want him to have something that he can love coming home to and feel that it is his to decide on and to putter with and to change around and to invest in if he wants.
Finally this morning, as we rose at 4:30 because of the baby, our uninterrupted conversation led to one of the bravest things I have ever done in our marriage, to his offering to stop the move before we close the contract and to my looking him in the eye and telling him that what I really wanted had nothing to do with stopping the move and everything to do with our hearts. Nothing we are living right now is what I want except us being in it together.
We’ve been through a lot in our almost-nine-year marriage. We went through a lot before we got married. I know we’ll get through this, and this time, I don’t want to do it by shutting down and hiding until it is all over. I want to be *here*, and even though every single one of the factors for the high stress levels that shut my body down are present in our world, I want to be willing to live this time instead of shutting out my life. I want to remember my baby’s smiles and Squiggy’s first few weeks of school. I want to rock out the shoot I’m doing on Wednesday like I have never rocked a shoot in my life. I want to be aware of Pip’s needs and to move as one with my husband and to laugh and to not feel guilty because I can’t even lift anything but the baby right now because of my surgery last week.
We are the weak and the fool, and somehow, glory, and our answer for everything this week is going to be what he said to me at the end of our talk today, “I pick you,” and we will be crazy and keep choosing each other, because surviving our own lives without one another is the thing we didn’t want to do anymore when we chose each other in the first place.
PHOTO BY BROSNAN PHOTOGRAPHIC