This weekend, Nick and I went on a quick picnic date by the lake. It was doctor’s orders.
For the past few months, I’ve been experiencing a lot of health-related anxiety as a result of my surprise postpartum heart attack. I’ve been seeing a really great therapist for a little more than a month now, and I’m happy to report that my anxiety has subsided pretty significantly thanks to the grounding techniques she taught me. In our last session, she asked how my relationship with Nick was going. After a moment of silence, I said, “Things are good, but they could be better.” And it was true because it has been a while since Nick and I have really connected.
While I was busy focusing on keeping my anxiety-fueled freak outs at bay, Nick was focusing on keeping up with the day-to-day. We were constantly cleaning baby bottles, washing spit up off our clothes, and passing the baby back and forth; with that and work, we didn’t really have time for much else. When this became our norm, we stopped talking to each other about our life, our dreams and plans… hell, we barely even talked to each other about how our days were going. It was like we were on autopilot just trying to get through the days, and it was starting to feel like we were roommates working toward the same goal – to care for Sebastian and the house – instead of a husband and wife team running our lives together. I didn’t realize how easy it was to lose sight of important things like love and marriage when you’re spending all your time caring for a kid. Of course I’ve heard of it happening, but to other people. Right? I would never let that happen to me and my marriage. Right?
So my therapist suggested that we find a sitter for the baby and spend some quality time together, just the two of us, to reconnect a bit. And that’s what we did. We left the Sebmeister with Nana and PopPop and set out for a little picnic.
We settled down in a spot by the lake. We sat on our blanket and ate our little snacks and relaxed and talked. We chatted about the upgrades we want to do to the house, the vegetables I want to learn to pickle, and we made a little plan to get started, something we regularly did before Sebastian came along. We watched the boats drive by, pulling teenage boys on water skis. We discussed how cool it would be to live on a lake. Neither of us really care to have a boat but a jet ski would be awesome! As we watched three kids whiz past us on a jet ski, Nick said, “You probably wouldn’t let me go fast, would you? You’d be afraid of falling off.” I pointed out that falling off of a jet ski wouldn’t be too bad because I would land in the water.
Ultimately, we agreed that lakes are better than the ocean.
We had just gotten really comfortable on our blanket when big, fat rain drops started falling. They fell slowly, just enough to be slightly annoying. “This is like a metaphor for our lives,” I said. “We try to do something nice and simple for ourselves and then we get rained on.” Nick looked at me and replied, “Yeah, but what really matters is how you react to it. It’s just a few little drops, not a downpour. We’ll get through it.”
This is why Nick is my rock. He keeps me grounded and he helps me see that things aren’t always as bad as my mind makes them out to be. He calms the storm that the anxiety creates in my mind, and he loves me even when I’m at my worst.
Unfortunately our picnic was cut short by the rain as the slow, fat rain drops soon turned into a warm summer storm and we had to retreat to a covered shelter until it passed. But it served its purpose. We renewed our connection and promised that we would get better about regularly making time for each other in the future. We aren’t going to be undone by a few little rain drops. We always get through it.