It is still anniversary week, and I thought I would post some more about my amazing, sexy husband. I hope it winds up making sense, as I am functioning on about ten total hours of sleep since Saturday night. Anyway, it seems especially relevant right now, this week, with everything that has been going on.
One of the aspects of our relationship that I don’t know that we had (or even knew we wanted) when we first got married was to be supportive of each other. And I mean supportive financially, spiritually, emotionally, and aspirationally. But I think we would both say that we have worked really hard on being loving and supportive of each other at various times in the last nine years.
I still remember exactly where I was when I realized that although we had planned for me to be a stay-at-home mother, since Kullervo was going to law school, I would have to work to pay for health care. It was the summer of 2006, and we were in Miami, at my dad’s place. I was sitting on his balcony, overlooking the Atlantic, holding Oliver. And it broke my heart a little. But law school was important, and going back to work was going to be a temporary sacrifice on my part to support him.
He had done something similar when we were in college—the first year we were married, we were both attending the University of Tennessee, and we realized that we just didn’t have enough money. So Kullervo dropped almost all of his classes so he could work full time to support us while I kept plugging away at my turtle’s pace of schooling.
Being spiritually supportive has been a critical component of us both feeling as solid and unified as we do. That seems almost paradoxical since we are in such different places, faith-wise. But when he started questioning the LDS Church, before I did, I supported him wholeheartedly. The way I figured it, if the church was true, he would find out (and there is LDS doctrine to back me up on that). And if it wasn’t true, then it would be good to find that out too. And since then, we have used each other as a sounding board to explore different ideologies, to discuss major religions throughout the world, to talk about how we want to raise our kids. And there is no animosity, and there never has been. Part of that comes from the post-modern worldview that I have, where black and white just doesn’t make sense. Part of it comes from wanting to see each other genuinely fulfilled in terms of religion and/or spirituality. And part of it is that it’s just danged interesting. J
As far as being emotionally supportive, Kullervo is my rock. He knows what’s gone on behind the scenes in my life—he’s experienced some of it, for better or for worse. When stuff is dramatic (or melodramatic) or scary or sad, he gets it. And he is always willing to be there for me to cry, or to give me space if that’s what I need. Now, if only I could get him to stop glancing at me at the harrowing moments of Gray’s Anatomy, when I’m bawling at the darned TV because, you know what? Having babies get hurt or sick on TV is cruel and makes me hurt. And it makes me cry and I need that emotional outlet desperately, and I love Gray’s Anatomy for all of the ‘dark and twisty’ parts. But Kullervo has to turn around and look at the train wreck that is me. And then I kick him. But he deserves it. I swear.
And, finally, aspirationally. Making the switch from being a working mom with no spare time, but feeling emotionally and intellectually stimulated all the time to being a stay at home mom with no spare time who is emotionally overstimulated, but sometimes less-than-intellectually stimulated was a big transition. I had gone from a deadline driven job with specific tasks to accomplish and goals to meet to a job that is less concrete; a job that revolves around raising small people to be intelligent, empathetic, responsible people. It turns out that motherhood can’t really be measured in terms of tasks that you’ve checked off your to-do list. And so I’ve had to try to figure out what the things are that I need to do to make sure that I am getting that sense of accomplishment (and doing the dishes and the laundry doesn’t make that list for me, although I wish it did because then maybe our clothes wouldn’t be so dirty).
I’ve also been making strides to overcome the enormous writer’s block that I’ve been suffering from. I’ve been trying to dabble in poetry again, I’ve begun writing a novel, as well as come up with ideas for other stories. I’ve auditioned for musicals and American Idol, and I have had the unwavering support of Kullervo through it all. Not only does he support it, but he gets excited about it and is proud of it and thinks it’s cool and loves me more for it. And knowing that I can get another rejection but come home to someone—to a whole family!—who loves me for trying… that makes it all okay. And I need that.
I’ve spent nine years with this man, this beautiful person. And I will go to bed tonight knowing that whatever decisions we make, we will make together, and whatever is important to us—whether it be music or religion or ideas or locations—we will make it happen, because that’s just what we do. That’s who we are, and the kind of relationship that we have. I love Kullervo, and knowing that he’s on my team and supports my decisions and dreams makes me so happy and grateful and in love. (Don’t worry—no matter how much Kullervo supports me and what I titled this post, I’ll still wear my bra.)