Remember That Smile

Working in the basement this afternoon, I found this picture.

I held it up and looked at those three faces- so long ago, those people, that place.

Those friendships.

This is myself along with a few high school friends, Jen and Emily, as we prepared for our backpacking trip to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. We were headed to the MAGNIFICENT Pictured Rocks. Looking at this picture today, I don’t remember too much about that trip other than it was beautiful, it was cold and we had fun.  The best part of all, no grown ups.

Drew and Abbey walked into the kitchen tonight and saw the photo on the counter.

Who are these people?    Abbey asked

I haven’t seen Mom smile like that for a long time,  said Drew.

So I pick it up and  look at the picture again.

Those smiles.

That time of life wasn’t perfect and those friendships most definitely had their ups and downs.  But life had way less, well, responsibilities. And tonight as I have once again escaped to the front porch, I’m very aware of them.

Since 3 pm- We’ve already done homework, run to piano lessons and soccer practice. Dinner was made and eaten. Most of the dishes were done.  But still, lots of bickering and complaining.   Right now I’d rather just hear it muffled through the door. They are still yelling for me, just hoping I’ll come running rescue them from each other and break up their fights.

Ha, as if.

Adulting is hard. It is.

Those smiles haven’t come quite as easily in the past few years. Reliving middle school and puberty and all those other “little “things (moving, paying mortgages, being in charge of people) they tend to bring the gray hair and wrinkles.

We’ve really been enjoying watching The Middle as a family. Last night’s episode was the one where the mom starts taking video  documentation of all the kids yelling, whining and fights- only in the end to realize that she is doing the same, or more. But the situations feel close to home and watching it makes us feel a little less crazy.

In fact, last night, we had just had a similar parent/child altercation as the one on the show. Just seeing them on the screen made it a little less frustrating and a little more funny.

But- our  kid who had been yelling didn’t find it funny. As we sat around watching and laughed he got mad and grumped at us-

Too soon, guys!    Too soon.   (Seriously, he meant it.)

So we just laughed about it as we lay in bed together later.

I look back at the smiles of our youth and I face the adulting that comes with age. It’s ok not to feel as light hearted or free spiritied. Truly, it comes with the territory. But if you can find a way to laugh a little or channel that smile you had as a kid, do it.  Find the humor in the frustrating stuff when you can.

It’s never too soon.

(Oh, and here’s the thing.  40 is great, so glad those teenage days of mine are over!)


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