I woke up at 4am this morning (as I have been tending to the past few weeks either to shuffle my way to the bathroom, or lay awake feeling this little person punch and kick inside me) with this immediate rush of memories from the past five years. Things we said we’d do, things we always wanted to do, things that mattered in the beginning and don’t seem to matter anymore. I laid awake for a good hour, mind swishing and swashing like one of those machines at the laundromat; full of why didn’t we’s and found myself beginning to creep into that side of subconscious where you start making up answers. This was probably my minds effort to gently lull me back to sleep, but this time it wasn’t working. I rolled over and snuggled up to Andrew, hoping being close to him and away from all the should haves would make it all okay.
And then he started to snore.
“Stop snoring” I whispered – usually that works and he mumbles his way back to a silent sleep. But I could tell he wasn’t asleep now either, and we both laid in the silence until some guy came walking by our apartment on a cell phone (usually this provides some middle of the night entertainment, but I couldn’t make out his words).
“Whats wrong?” he asked in his middle of the night gravelly low voice. Immediately all that had been sloshing in my head the past hour spilled out (never ask an external processor what they’re thinking about in the middle of the night). At the end I said “I just feel this need to wipe the board clean of all the things we wished we’d done the past five years – so that in five years from now we aren’t laying remembering again all the things we haven’t done. That today, our day one of the next five years – we can start again”
Because even though five years isn’t fifty – today we’ll celebrate all the things we have and haven’t done well. That three years of grad school, one masters degree, a cross country move and a baby on the way has shaped us into two people with just a little more experience than on day one of one.
That all the hugs, snuggles, prayers whispered, tears shed, blanket stealing, arguments over the dishes and dinners cooked together have created more than a marriage, it has created a connection that is stronger – and keeps getting stronger.
What I have learned in my past year of photographing couples is that connection is always there, even if you can’t feel it or see it in the every day of your relationship. Honestly, it’s what makes me want to keep clicking the shutter to make sure it’s captured for you to see.
That even if you wear your heart on your sleeve or if the connection seems lost in the mess of life – what once created that spark, however small – is still deep down in there.