I was privileged to attend a 25th Anniversary picnic for a couple S and I have known for all of our adult lives. Their marriage is a beautiful thing, a true match between equals. They have had their struggles, to be certain, but they are wise and kind people and they have consistently come through each challenge and each rough spot with grace and love. And they've shared a lot of laughs along the way.
I also got to visit with many, many friends who have shaped most of my adult life, and share their stories about jobs and homes, joys and heartaches, parents and kids. We're the sandwich generation, and we all spend entirely too much time living for others. I was proud to show off BOTH my girls to old friends, who loved K as always, and welcomed Daisy with open arms. But mostly we shared stories about Mike and Joyce and their 25 years of showing us what a marriage should be.
I've come to value these milestones more as I've gotten older. I find it both strange and comforting to watch my friends enter their late 40s and 50s and in some cases, 60s. Seeing all of them having fun, still finding them vital -- and, yes, beautiful -- as they age reminds me once again that age is a relative thing. Your friends and contemporaries are always "young" and your parents are always "old". Your kids and your friends' kids never know anything, until they graduate from college, and then they all are brilliant and bound to be successful. I used to find these generalizations horrible cliche, but now I find them comfortable. Maybe 45 really is the new black.
I was also tickled beyond happiness to watch my two girls spend their day exploring the riverbanks in the Metroparks, catching dragonflies and toads and crayfish, poking along the paths and even finding an old homestead site. They disappeared into the woods for an hour at a time, periodically running back to show me what treasures they'd unearthed. It was incredibly normal and happy, and unusual for us until now. My family is becoming more complete on a daily basis and it makes me deeply happy.
It was a wonderful day, and I feel deeply blessed.