Some time back, The Captain and I met a couple who were really cool, had three kids, and had been married 17 years. We were shocked because they seemed so cool! So young! We met them when our kids were practically babies. They really inspired me, that after seventeen years a marriage could still look vibrant, and engaged, even in the midst of parenting.
Fast forward to now. Like our friends, we married really young. Here we are, married 14 years with a pack of kids. We've both changed over time, as people do. Our relationship has highs and lows, exciting bits, and dry chapters.
Deep down to my toes I am thankful, and absolutely in love with this man, even when there's nothing swoon worthy going on.
As you know, I'm an avid gardener. My husband has watched me plant garden after garden, only to walk away from my efforts as we move time and again. He has humored me in pouring not inconsequential amounts of money into pots and soil and seedlings, and has listened to hours of hopeful chatter about my tomato seeds sprouting, and my desire for a jam garden.
My partner works very hard at work and at home. He has the work ethic of three motivated people combined. On the weekend he likes nothing more than to sleep in, and have a quiet tea and toast (with Nutella and fresh raspberries) and a nap in the hammock, or to lose himself in one of the multiple books he reads simultaneously. Yesterday he gave up his time and a grand amount of his money because he loves me well.
I have been trying to find a way to source this 16' foot agricultural panel for months. After trying unsuccessfully to hire multiple people to collect it from a distant farm supply center, I turned to my steady husband for help. He hired a truck, and drove the distance only to discover that the panel I had ordered earlier in the week wasn't there after all. He had them cut the 16' panels in half to fit in his 8' truck and hauled them home.
While he was away, I spent hours on other garden projects. I cut down some fence posts to make a small raised bed in which to plant one of the new fruit trees I'm ordering.
Today I got the panel hung. All 64 feet of it. I'll plant a variety of climbing edibles on it, and I'll even do some pumpkins supported by slings. I could have accomplished the same thing with a roll of fencing for a fraction of the cost, but I have been wanting this industrial gage panel because I love the look of it, even before anything grows on it.
I wouldn't call my husband a romantic or passionate man. As an INTJ, he shares his personality type with only about 2% of the world's population. He has an intellectual brilliance that I do not share. Yet I have capacity and strength in areas that lacks strength. Fourteen years in, I think he is absolutely amazing. At this very moment he is folding the laundry with our children while they watch a documentary about North Korea.
Quite some time ago I went through a season where I was consistently disappointed that my husband didn't write me love letters (although he wrote great ones while we were dating), or plan elaborate sweep-me-off-my-feet dates, but over the years I have learned to recognize him loving me well, in his way. He brings me flowers for no good reason, because he knows I like that, even though they might not mean the same thing to him. On friday night he often starts our weekend by bringing a bag of delicious treats to share. As a father for our children, I could not dream of better. In matters of the garden, he opens his heart to me again and again, contributing to the thing that makes my heart sing.
We are so very, very different, but we laugh at the same things, and notice the same obscure references and details. Ours is a life shared, and richer for the sharing. In the garden, I do the digging and dreaming, and he says "yes". In the end we sit outdoors together, eating the food I've grown, and enjoying the environment I have created, and we've both done our part, and nurtured each other in the process. For me, my garden is my own passion, but also a continual testiment to my partner's investment in who I am and what I care about. That's a pretty romantic thing, don't you think?