Today was a big day! We had our commissioning service this morning at church which makes us actually going to Africa seem so indubitable. Although we still have much support raising to go it feels scary as well exciting to be taking these steps as a family. As we were sharing I looked out at so many close friends and was brought to tears at how grateful I am for the awesome relationships we have built since coming to Chicago. It is truly a blessing to be able to share our lives with so many authentic people.
I guess I was vulnerable because of feeling a little nostalgic lately. It all started after I decided to get rid of some stuff we had not used in a great while that was taking up precious room in our condo. We had a camera that worked great but uses 35mm film- that is right! It is from the dark ages when we had to take a whole roll before getting it developed, make sure we packed “extra film” on a trip, no instant gratification digital. I offered the camera on freecycle
but realized it still had a roll of film inside that had not been developed. Jason and I searched our minds for what these pictures could be and came up with nothing. What were they? We could not remember the last time we used that camera. This mystery was too intriguing so we rushed off the Target to drop off our film and waited. We picked the film up yesterday and it was taken before we were married, 6 years ago! We looked so young (mere children, how did they give us a marriage license:)! This then prompted us to look through old photo albums. Needless to say our front room is now covered in albums, old photo envelopes, and faded ticket stubs. It is so strange to be looking at a pictorial history of your former self. We do not feel older and yet in certain ways our college days seem so distant. We long for days of less responsibility but at the same time would never trade our lives now. Having a baby somehow puts us on the other side of an imaginary, arbitrary, but seemingly real line that at least in my mind we were walking or straddling prior to Annikah. Now our life seems a world apart from the girl who slept on the Quad in freezing weather and the guy who backpacked around Europe by himself. Those people are still embedded in us and have helped to usher in the now. Another thought as I gave the camera away struck me: Annikah will probably never know how to load a camera, wind film, or what it feels like when you accidentally expose your pictures and those memories are lost to you. She will never have to wait the 2 days to pick up her film. In these days of instant results she will miss out on that anticipation but instead trade it for convenience and ease. That makes me feel old like when our parents reminisced about records and 8 tracks and we rolled our eyes as if they were remnants of some ancient civilization sent to earth to constantly embarrass us. Funny how the world is cosmically shifting!
I also got a call today from my “little” sister (who is graduating from high school in a month but who I still see as a 10 year old girl following me and my friends around). She was crying but thankfully they were tears of joy as she made the Illinette squad at my Alma Mater University of Illinois! Her hard work and dedication to dance has paid huge dividends. How exciting! She will just start the photo books of her college days this fall.
The end of our day was busy too. Jorie, Mark, Joel, and Silas also came down to visit and we went to the beach at the end of our street (did I mention I love living here?)! It was a fabulous time of hanging out while chasing kids and baby wrangling. We reminisced with Jorie and Mark about “the old days” while Joel staked blocks, Silas rubbed rice in his hair, and Annikah spit peas.
I am blessed both to have the experiences, hardships, struggles, immense joys, and opportunities that have brought me to now and I anticipate the unique and special days that lie ahead.