He looked at me with watery eyes and I stared back at him through my own tears. His blurry form so familiar to me I would know his bald head and blue eyes anywhere. We hugged, and I felt safe against his warm chest as I soaked his sweater in tears. We were only going to be apart for 3 or 4 days at a time, but it would be for nine full months. Nine months of Scott in Boston and me in Hartford throughout the week. Nine months of Scott driving two hours back to me on Thursday nights and two hours away from me on Sunday evenings. We hadn’t spent that much time apart since college breaks almost ten years before. But as sad as I was to face nine months of living mostly apart, I was so incredibly proud of him and happy for him and excited for us.
Scott was taking a huge leap of faith in himself and pursuing a big scary dream. My risk-averse actuary of a husband. You know, like the character Ben Stiller plays in Along Came Polly, except Scott was in health insurance not life insurance. That was Scott. My always-make-a-reservation-just-in-case, boy scouts are always prepared, measure twice, cut once husband was leaving a job that topped every “best career” list to chase his dream of becoming a college professor of English. Of course, the actuary in him had been planning and preparing. He’d already gone back to school and gotten his masters in English (because what Phd English program is going to take a math major?!). And here we were in Boston, moving him back into a dorm room, so he could start classes at Boston College in a few days.
As I drove away from his dorm that crisp fall day, watching him wave in the rearview mirror, I had to pull over and ugly cry before I could drive the rest of the way home. Our lives were going to change forever. We were no longer on the path we had been on just a few days prior. But Scott was on fire for the first time in a long time and we both knew he needed to do this, we needed to do this. Because that’s how we go through life. Together. Because we love each other enough to also love and support the dreams and passions we each hold. And when he showed up back in Hartford five days later for his weekend at home with me, we had so much to talk about and so much joy to share. Yes, I believe in a love that allows you to live with passion and pushes you to pursue your dreams, especially the big scary ones that make your palms sweat and your heart beat faster. Because loving someone well means choosing them and choosing their dreams. And as Tea Leoni says in The Family Man, “I choose us”.