The last few weeks have been particularly intense for our family. I cannot really pinpoint one reason WHY this has been the case. Maybe we overscheduled ourselves? Or set unrealistic goals in our yardwork and housework? Maybe the stress of the unknown in fostering has been taking its toll? Or we were still adjusting to meeting the day-to-day needs of three children?
Whatever it was, we seem to be leaving it behind.
One of the cool things about the last few weeks, however, was that we had opportunities to reconnect with a variety of old friends. The truth about Donald and me is that we both grew up within ten miles of where we currently live – and as a result, we frequently see and hang out with the same people we have always seen and hung out with.
Naturally, the unfortunate bit about this arrangement is that it is easy to take those relationships for granted. We sometimes will go three or four months without seeing someone who is RIGHT.HERE. just because we assume they will always be there. We’ve known them since kindergarten! We chat with their parents on our morning walks! What could possibly change? We’ll catch up later!
And then when we do get together, we’re amazed by how wrong we were. Their pregnancy has progressed and suddenly they’re due next week. Or their kid has grown an inch taller. Or they’ve accepted a new job. Or their dog passed away. Usually we hear these things through the grapevine when our families are too busy to get together, but it’s always surprising to find out in person how much you’ve missed in just a couple months.
We reflect on those moments on the way home. It seems to odd to think that when we were five or six or ten or fifteen years old, these people could not put on a new eyeliner or try a stupid stunt in their backyard without us knowing, and then we blinked and suddenly we’re all older with families and lives of our own that only overlap a couple times a month.
Right now, I love aging. I love watching my kids grow. I love that my husband and I are still happy together. I love learning from my parents. I love that I have finally reached a point in my life where remembering ten years back isn’t completely mortifying.
But one of the things I love most is that we still know people who have known us forever and that many of them play very active roles in our children’s lives. I love watching them grow older, watching them marry and have babies, watching their babies grow up. I love watching them travel the world, finish advanced degrees, chase their dream jobs. I love watching our kids chase each other around the backyard, lost in daydreams, the way we did once upon a time. I love watching my kids’ faces light up when they know we are going to see their love-aunts and –uncles and –cousins. I love watching our friendships evolve and become deeper and more meaningful as the years roll by.
Donald and I are 37 and 28 years old respectively. We have been married nearly seven years. Everywhere we look life is demanding and hectic and crazy and busy.
And everywhere we look, life is pretty freaking amazing too.