Growing Together

Growing Together

Evolving thoughts and feelings are difficult to write about, so I’m not sure where this post is going to end up, but try to stay with me as I write my way through.

Watching our children grow and change and thrive is exciting and interesting, and in many ways, easy.

I have been blessed and awed and thankful to be watching my spouse grow and change and thrive of late, too.

None of this is intended to be condescending toward Buds in any way. I truly have been watching him with awe and excitement and gratitude.

Buds is the most amazing human I know. Besides being hopelessly in love with him (sappy, I know), I just plain like him. Anyone who gets to know him is blessed, I believe.

For most of our history, the new people he was getting to know were through me. That’s not meant to toot my own horn, that was just the rhythm of our relationship. I’d explore the new ground, find the new cohort, and when he’d join the tribe, I often think people found him way more awesome than me. I opened the door; his character lit the room.

Now, for many reasons, he’s stepped into spotlights of his own making. I am gladly standing on the sidelines, cheering, laughing, and crying with joy.

In addition to the Wellspring group at church that Buds has been part of for many months now, he has just agreed to take on a very large volunteer role at our church, with a multi-year commitment. In addition, the CrossFit competing he’s done for the last month and a half brought him forward to a new community of people.

When we attended the auction last weekend, I was introduced to friends of his from church…people I did not know. I can honestly tell you, except for his friends from before we met, and the people he worked with, that is the first time that had ever happened. Okay, also the CrossFitters he sees everyday, but even most of them I knew, too.

It is so fascinating to me to see people get to know him and to realize what an amazing person he is. As our friend Nancy said to me at the auction, “It isn’t that he’s really shy. He just needs time to warm up to a situation and to people, and then once he’s comfortable you get to see what he’s really like.” (Not an exact quote, but the general gist.

She was summing up what I’d really begun to realize. Now, after living here for over 6 years, Buds has found he feels safe in our various communities of friends. CrossFit is a safe place for him. Our church has now become a safe place for him. Our family and our relationship has always been a safe place for him, so we always got his best, now other people get to see it, too.

In his Father’s Day talk last year at our church he started it by saying, “I’m Chris Gemignani, and I usually hide on the lee side of Jennie’s friendliness, which suits me just fine.”

I think we’re moving into a life phase where our names could be reversed in the above sentence, and I love that idea.

The goal for this post was not to brag about my spouse. It’s more my musings about how grateful I am to be allowed to spend my life with someone who continues to grow and change, and who still fascinates and interests me after nearly 20 years together.

Where will the next 20 years take us…

Taken by Mary Lareau at the Auction.