A portrait of my husband, once a week, every week, in 2013.
I didn’t stop loving my husband when my children were born, but love – in general – became redefined. My love for my children was all-consuming and nothing in the world seemed to measure up to the love I had for them. I’m speaking in past tense, but my love for them today is the same.
I payed less attention to my marriage in those early days as my new motherly instinct took over. I didn’t love Willy any less, per say. Rather, I had one little man whose life literally depended on me and one real man who was more or less capable of caring for himself. And so my attention went to my son.
And then, before we knew it, there were two. Everyone says your love multiplies and while I agree with a few astrics attached, I’d argue further that your attention gets divided. And suddenly, Willy fell further from the front of my mind. I didn’t nurture our relationship like I once did. In fact, at times I’d say I even resented what seemed to be an uneven amount of “shared” responsibility. I had envisioned entering motherhood as a team and the reality of it was that I somehow had more responsibilities; my life felt more heavily impacted.
As a side note, our marriage didn’t suffer. I can’t say that this was a hard time for us or that we fought a lot; Rather, there was a lot of adjusting and sorting and trying to keep our heads above water and life continued on and eventually we got our bearings as new parents. A lot of what I’m saying now are things that I’ve recognized in hindsight.
And so, at the start of 2013 when I thought about joining Jodi’s 52 week project, I thought of my husband.
You see, having a second kid has a way of knocking you over the head. When Van came along, our world became chaotic. Not necessarily all at once, but gradually. I mean two kids so close together in age is hard. And at some point in the shuffle I remember looking over at Willy and feeling overcome with gratitude. He is my partner. I get to navigate my way through this chaos with him, my best friend.
It’s funny… You spend your young adult years dating and searching for the “one” and, if you’re lucky, you find him and chose him to be your husband. Then, a few years later – if you’re lucky again – you give birth to a child that granted you don’t really know at all. And suddenly you forget all about the one you’ve chosen and become all consumed with a complete stranger.
In any event, I was called to shoot my husband for this 52 week project for reasons I didn’t fully understand in the beginning. But now, 52 weeks later, the reason for the calling is clear: A reminder, perhpas, that I chose him. And I’m oh-so-glad I did.
I love you, Willy. Thanks for letting me put my camera in your face or behind your back or over your head. You’re a real trooper.
Not sure what I’m going to shoot for next year’s project. I gather I have a week to think about it.
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