Indifference and neglect often do much more damage than outright dislike.”
J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Order of the PhoenixIMG_9623

During the past few weeks, through a series of unfortunate events, my wife and I have actually spent thirty minutes alone on a Saturday morning. Okay, so we aren’t exactly alone, but we have alone time to talk about ‘whatever’. Weekends in spring and early summer are busy. Every Saturday and Sunday for the past six weeks has been filled with events, activities, and meetings. Saturday mornings’ spin class, swim class, and soccer result in an uncoordinated dance to get everyone to their favorite activity within a half hour of each other. Unfortunately for my spouse, soccer has been cancelled for one reason or another allowing us to spend thirty minutes together watching our children swim laps at our local program.

Usually any available time to talk results in updates about the never-ending task list or changes to our BIG schedule. Perhaps due to the spontaneity of this time, its been an opportunity to have some frank (for me) and vulnerable discussions. We have spent some of this time in silence, enjoying the smiles of our kids, who truly enjoy being in the water or simply cheering them on. Last week, we spent laughing between moments of honesty about where we are ‘at in life’.

I miss my partner sometimes. I miss the times we used to spending ‘connecting’ and freely admit to taking our thirteen year relationship for granted when the business of life gets in the way. J.K. Rowling in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix writes, “Indifference and neglect often do much more damage than outright dislike.” It’s easy to lose the intimate connection that develops in the early days of a relationship, when you are convinced you can say anything and still be safe. After years of dirty dishes and laundry, its surprising to realize you also have to commit to being intimate and vulnerable. And acknowledge that the love you have for one another changes over time. As a result it becomes our responsibility to tend to this relationship if we want to stay connected as we change.

It’s likely that soccer will resume and I will spend Saturday alone on the bench seating. Surprisingly though, thirty unplanned for minutes were enough to reconnect for a few weeks. It may require as little time to continue to stay connected in the future!

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