Alot of our stresses and problems are fairly minor when I consider what some friends are going through, what's happening in nations I've loved and sweated in (particularly violence in Nigeria is on my heart) and we need to keep perspective. Money is just money, it's not life or death (for us) and we have each other and friends and family in at least two countries that will take us in if need be. (Right guys?) The need probably won't be, and we're learning how to see the waves coming, dive under or bob over them, and not let ourselves be smashed onto the beach for no good reason.
In an attempt to get out of a blogging slump I thought I'd link up with Kathleen at Becoming Peculiar. Her blog is great - a good mix of practical experiments like homemade soap and theological ponderings about human nature and non-violent parenting. all sewn together with Mennonite threads. She asked other bloggers to write about their partners, who often take a backseat in writing to children and self. I mention Chris often around here but thought (for the few readers who don't know him in real life) I'd tell a bit more about him. And then see if he'll let me post it. :)
|our friend Nathan sketched this of us. isn't he talented?|
We took off in different directions; he gave me his album and I lent him a few books (Henri Nouwen, Shane Claiborne) to guarantee that he'd have to get in touch with me again someday, if he had any integrity with things that didn't belong to him. He sent me an email and two weeks later I responded. We did that for about nine months as I worked in mother-child healthcare in India and South Sudan. I would skip happily for 4 1/2 miles to the Sudanese internet cafe anticipating his letters and then spent two weeks carefully crafting mine before I responded.
After nine months emailing we expressed our affections and decided to "date", whatever that meant for us living on two sides of Australia. After about 6 weeks he came to visit:
... and happily wore the "New Sudan" hat I had found for him. Over the next nine months we spent 16 1/2 glorious days together, occasions in which we both checked the time every five minutes in every attempt to slow it down. We played music for each other, stayed up very late but jumped out of bed in the mornings with the hope of seeing each other again.
The rest of our relating happened over the interweb and grace of the capricious Skype gods, until we got ourselves engaged in Canada and then three more months apart and we said these vows to each other.
We're approaching four years married and have made more babies and less music than we imagined. I've learned many things about Chris since becoming "actual special best friends living daily and sleeping nightly next to each other". I love when he grows out his beard nice and full, but if I mention that he will always say, "Yeah, it's getting really itchy. I'm shaving it tonight. Actually, I'm gonna go shave it right now." He doesn't actually like the New Sudan hat and never wears it, it isn't comfortable enough. Comfort always wins, he often talks about wearing sweatpants in public but he never does. He's never commented on my weight, not positive or negative, but he loves my body, that's for sure. He has healthy conflict habits and knows how to disarm me appropriately, through an apology or by helping me see how ridiculous I am being. He is the primary parent for our toddler's bedtime and night-time care, which I appreciate immensely.
I love Chris and am loved by Chris much more deeply now than when we first met, or we first kissed, or even when we had our first baby. We've put down roots in each other and they are tangling up, with every conflict, every forgiveness, every airplane ride, every chaotic morning, every interrupted night. I feel lucky, or maybe fortunate but definitely not deserving of the fidelity of friendship and affection I experience daily. Marriage hasn't been easy and there are freedoms in my single life that I honestly miss, but I sure wouldn't want to do this thing with anyone else.
|(our friend Mat took some incredible photos for us)|
P.S. Chris is a talented musician, you can hear his electronic music at Tundra Vole, and there's some of our together music at States and Provinces.
If you have a blog, consider linking up with Kathleen at Becoming Peculiar and sharing about your partner as well!