In honor of Valentines Day, I feel inclined to write a few words in praise of my spouse and child. I find myself at age 40, living in a beautiful place with all of my essential needs met, working for myself doing what I love. If not for Mike and Anouk, my life would be very different. No doubt, I would be working either in social services or in some other administrative position, doing artwork as a hobby.
Mike and I became friends initially due to our shared interest in art. We used to schedule art nights every week, inviting our friends, but often finding that only the two of us made it. We would go to the Seattle Art Museum and galleries, stopping for drinks along the way, discussing our difficult relationships (with other people.) We both rented art studios in the same building and would go on supply runs together.
Now, Mike has little time for his artistic pursuits. His camera has not been touched in years and he no longer makes books. But he has thrown his creative energy full force into the garden and associated buildings, and he teaches glass art at his high school.
When I had Anouk, I lamented the loss of my personal time. For a couple of years, I had no free time, and I felt my identity as an artist had disappeared. Little by little, she became more independent, and I found time to make art whenever I could. I learned to do things I could manage with her next to me or on my back, and worked on mosaic when Mike was home. Mike has always supported my choice to stay home with her, and to start and pursue a business, even though he has to work 3 extra hours per day for us to break even.