A central idea for Sheldon and Davey was that they would share everything together. They took this idea to excess in their relationship even to the point of excluding children. Sheldon and Davey recognized that having children would mean that Davey would be home taking care of them while Sheldon was working outside the home. I noticed on my recent rereading of the book for our 15th wedding anniversary last month that when they talked about the way that children would separate them, one of the ways they considered that having children wouldn’t separate them was if they had a family farm! They recognized that children on a family farm contribute to their parents’ togetherness since the whole family can work together doing the many diverse and age-appropriate work that must be done to keep a farm fertile and healthy. However, Sheldon and Davey decided not to have a farm and consequently, not to have children (this was a decision Sheldon later deeply regretted).
When Christelle and I read about this idea of togetherness and Sheldon and Davey’s battle against “creeping separateness” we planned to emulate them. During the early years of our marriage we had dreams to live in Alaska together, open a bookstore together, live on a farm together, and even live on a sailboat together (this last idea was considered in consultation with our good friends, the Fosters). We never directly acted on any of these dreams of living and working together because, well, there were college debts to be paid and so I had to take work where I could. This process continued for the first 14 years or so of our marriage. Basically I kept taking work that would help us make a living. We had children. Christelle started her own business. I even purchased Loome Theological Booksellers out of a need to keep a job so we could purchase our second home rather than out of a planned course to fulfill our dream of owning a bookstore. Although initially inspired by Sheldon and Davey, we were living a fairly typical life and, without realizing it, creeping separately apart from each other into our own careers.
My annual retreat at Demontreville changed all that in the fall of 2011. The rest of the story will have to wait until part III.