This weekend, my husband swam across a lake.
Okay, it was actually a reservoir, and technically the water level was decreasing due to a drought in the area, but still. He swam from one shore to the other and then back again all on his own. We were camping with a group of my favorite people and he was so excited to get in the water. My Partner in Crime is a big swimmer. His family was really involved when he was young, probably because his father was a coach and he and his brother learned to swim almost before they were walking.
So when we decided to go camping on the reservoir, the first thing he packed was his speedo and his wetsuit.
It was kind of traumatizing, to be honest, being the pregnant wife of the crazy guy swimming across the lake on his own. It was especially traumatizing because people were boating and jet skiing across the water, and every so often it looked like one of those big machines was making its way right for him. I read a book one time where one guy tried to kill another guy by running him over with a motorboat, so I didn’t really want to imagine what those propeller blades would do to my husband’s spine if he didn’t manage to make himself extremely obvious (or, more likely, if the driver of a boat wasn’t paying close enough attention).
Mostly, though, I didn’t want to think about what it would be like finishing off this pregnancy and then raising a child alone.
Of course, I had nothing to worry about. A friend of mine and I sat on the edge of our campsite and watched my crazy husband’s bobbing head in the water for as long as we could until it was barely a dot by the other shore (we then broke out the binocular glasses my husband found at a yard sale last summer and used those to follow him and also to look awesome). We watched as a few jet skiers stopped by, presumably to ask if he was okay and why the hell he was swimming across the busy lake in the middle of the day. We watched until he made his way back and he climbed onto the close shore again, sopping wet but smiling wide.
One thing I learned early on in my relationship with my Partner in Crime is that there’s really no stopping him when he sets his mind to something. I also learned my life would be a lot easier if I didn’t fight him on the matter. So when he tells me he plans on swimming across a lake, all I can do is remind him not to die. He usually tells me he’ll try his hardest not to.
But the fact of the matter is, him swimming across the lake on a sunny day really isn’t that big of a deal. He supports me through way crazier antics than that. I told him I wanted to start my own business, and he said okay. I told him I wanted to make a living writing books, and he said he believed in me. I told him I wanted to buy a bunch of remote property with my best friends and build a ton of houses interconnected through an underground tunnel system, and he laughed at me. I’m still working on that one, I guess.
When we find something we really love, when we strive to achieve something other people might believe to be crazy, it’s important to have people on our side, people cheering us on from the sidelines even if it may be nearly impossible to succeed. If I tried to stop my husband from doing the things that are important to him, I don’t think he’d have married me. Similarly, if he tried to tell me I couldn’t be a writer, we’d have a lot of difficult conversations ahead of us.
So he can swim across lakes (as long as he doesn’t die), and I can write books (as long as I don’t lock myself in a dark office and slowly waste away). It’s a system that works.