Over the holiday weekend I had a rare opportunity to spend quality time with an old group of friends. We came together, families in tow, for a backyard camping extravaganza. We pitched tents, watched the kids and dogs run around the yard, and reminisced over dinner. Then, when the sun went down, we were beckoned over to the campfire by the chords of a guitar. I sat staring into the flames, and I was back in college. So many nights back then ended with this same group sitting on a couch, or in someone’s yard, or dangling our feet into a hot tub, listening to this same musically inclined comrade strum away. I felt a rush of emotion, and found myself craving what felt like it had been a simpler time. Back before medical tests and infertility, before adoption paperwork and birthmother drama. Life was simpler then. Wasn’t it?
It hadn’t felt that way at the time. Term papers, internships, boyfriends, roommates. It sure didn’t feel all that simple then. It felt pretty darn complicated. And so I wonder, though I may feel overwhelmed by the stress of my life today, how much more entangled will my life be in the years to come?
But here’s the beautiful part. When I looked around that campfire I didn’t just see the faces that were there years ago. Those old friends were joined by spouses and children. In fact the old friend’s guitar and voice was joined by another friend’s daughter, matching him note for note. The same song sung 15 years later now has two voices. More intricate, more complicated, and more beautiful.
This past week I held my breath to keep from freaking out. M had been so immediate in responding to e-mails and texts up until now, but suddenly she was silent. Trained by our past experiences I jumped to the worst possible scenario. With lots of deep breaths I put one foot in front of the other, and kept moving through the week. Last night she finally responded. She had been vising her grandparents, nothing has changed, and there’s no reason to panic.
There’s still a lot of road ahead of us on this particular journey. It’s arduous and complicated and overwhelming at times. I just can’t help but wonder, where will we be 15 years from now? How much more exciting, complicated, and amazing will our lives become? And when we get there, will I look into the campfire and think back to this time, craving a simpler life?