Three years ago last Wednesday, in the pouring rain, I married the English boy I met in the middle of Nowheresville, USA (otherwise known as the tiny town of Hinsdale, Massachusetts) in June 2006. We were both counsellors at a sleepaway camp for 8-14 year olds called Camp Emerson. He was coaching soccer. I was teaching swimming and manning the lifeguard tower down at the pool. We were both assigned as bunk counsellors to a bunch of 10 year olds who shared evening activities which meant our paths crossed frequently. We were a couple by the second week, travelled around the US together after 10 weeks of camp based romance and living together in the UK a little while after that. Whirlwind doesn’t even begin to describe it.
In some ways, we were absolutely and completely different but, as the cliche goes, in others, we were SO the same. He followed me out to Australia after 12 months in England and we settled here properly. I introduced him to the beach, cuisine that wasn’t based around the holy trifecta of Chinese/Indian/Fish and Chips and the joys of living in a place where you could see the ocean from almost every window. He taught me that it was ok to wear footwear other than thongs, that a love of sport and XBOX doesn’t have to be mutually exclusive and that drinking tea is appropriate at any time of the day.
Most of all, he loved me. Absolutely and completely. I’ve felt loved every single day we’ve been together. My husband has been by my side through the toughest times of my life. He listened when I was first properly struck down with OCD and thought I was going insane. He stroked my hair and quietly dissuaded me when I convinced myself that I was a complete danger to the world at large and would be better off in jail. He never once doubted my devotion to our son, even when I was in the deepest clutches of Post Partum OCD and PND. He told me I was a good mother, even when I couldn’t see how that was remotely possible.
He’s also been there through the greatest moments and biggest triumphs. He sat by the side of the birthing pool and helped deliver our son. I will never forget the look that we shared when he helped place our tiny baby on my chest. He celebrated me getting on top of my mental health and growing into the mother he always knew I would be. He encouraged me to blog. He supported my decision to take the plunge and become a full time freelancer and mama, leaving the office world behind.
There is no one who knows me better, reads my moods more precisely or truly understands who I am, more than my husband. I feel, in a way, that there isn’t any possible way we could NOT have ended up together. How an Aussie girl from the Eastern suburbs of Sydney met an English boy from a little town called Dudley, in the middle of a tiny American town, and ended up together, is slightly mind boggling. But thank God it did happen.
At our wedding, as I walked down the aisle, ‘Sail The Wildest Stretch‘ by Powderfinger was played by an acoustic guitarist. The song asks, among other things;
“If you had your time over again, would you do it all the same? If your course could be reset, would you steer your ship my way? Would you sail the wildest stretch, just to feel the force of the waves?
As I answered back in 2011 and as I’ve answered every day since; Yes
Photograhy by Gemma Clarke Photography