I ate ice cream last night with friends from my high school days (oh, how old does that sound?) and smiled to myself about how strange it is that we are all twenty and twenty-one years old.
I knew these people on the soccer field, at amusement parks, in school plays. Emma has the most infectious laugh, Brett is solid with laughing eyes, Abby’s smile makes everything else in the world okay, and Brittany’s joy for life exudes in everything she does. I’m their homeschooled friend whom they have always included and always called their Doc.
We ate ice cream last night, talking about our grown-up jobs, Brett’s gig at a Christmas tree farm, and Brittany’s excitement over this summer. Abby is married, Brett and Emma will surely be engaged soon, and Brittany will be spending the summer teaching elementary school classes in Africa. My friends have become adults and yet we can still sit at a round picnic table and laugh about melting ice cream. They are special, those people.
This month is almost over and I am glad, for May always gifts me with goodbyes and a slightly aching heart. There is a familiar bittersweetness to this time of the year. I wrote about it in high school and I guess it continues into adulthood as well.
God has been teaching me a lot about letting go this year, about how it hurts a little but eventually makes sense. Last night fits in with that theme. I am letting go of the high school versions of my friends and the experiences we had, but I am gaining that warm glow of pride at the sort of adults they are becoming: confident, kind, and wonderful images of Christ. It’s a glow that carries me through melancholy days when I wish we could be freshmen and sophomores in high school again.
Further up and further in, as Lewis says, and onto more adventures and ice cream dates that kind of mean the world to us.