Welcome to Valentine’s Day, that annoyingly commercialized annual reminder that we’re actually supposed to care about the special people in our life. As Cory nicely put it
Proving you really care about someone is an achievement that takes effort everyday. Chocolate and flowers on a single day won’t do.
All that said, I figured it wouldn’t be amiss to let my family know how fabulous they are, a non-commercial sort of way of course :-).
The photo up top is from 9 years ago while we were living in the UK during our first sabbatical; Tom was 7 at the time, and Susan hadn’t yet cut off most of her hair. The strip below is from our second UK sabbatical 7 years later; now he’s taller than her and looking suspiciously like a young man instead of a little boy. Both give a sense of how fun it is to live with these two — there’s no question that I’m a lucky, lucky man.
It was interesting to see how few photos I have of the two of them together outside of the sabbaticals. Those two years are documented in excruciating detail, while our day-to-day here in Morris is much more sparsely recorded. There are moments, like when Tom’s on stage, where I take a billion photos, but I end up with very few photos of the two of them together.
I think this helps illustrate the value of these years we’ve had away from home. There’s something about stepping out of your “normal” life, leaving most of your stuff behind, and making a life (even if for just a year) in a new place. It shaves off a lot of the distractions and, for us at least, meant we spent more and different time together. Some of that is in the form of being tourists together (which is where these photos come from), but it’s also in the form of walking together because we didn’t own a car, and being together because the apartment was too small for us to easily be apart.
(And I realize that having this sort of opportunity just oozes privilege; most people don’t have the flexibility or resources to do this sort of thing once, let alone twice. I’m lucky in many, many ways.)
Happy Valentine’s Day to Sue and Tom!