Our friend, Stanley, celebrated his fourth annual 50th birthday last night by inviting a bunch of us over for a potluck supper and an evening of jazz by his trio. (The birthday boy is the guy on the far right of the picture.)
We are a very odd group of friends, our work spans a wide spectrum. For instance, Stanley is a potter, and amongst the folks who came to celebrate with him was a judge, a graphics designer, a social worker, an engineer, several carpenters, a furniture maker, a genealogist, an elementary school teacher, an university professor ...
And the thing is that none of us (except for my husband Paul, who was born here) started our adult lives in this region, and none of us had a first job anywhere near what we do now. The judge was once a farm hand, my husband's first job was as a shepherd, I began as a journalist ... and Stanley had trained to be a professional musician.
Love, education, marriage, even the Vietnam War--things we never foresaw when we were children--carried us on unexpected currents to this place in our lives, to a birthday party on a cold winter's night in a snug farm house that's seen two centuries now.
The youngest celebrant at the party, Antoine, is just a few weeks old. My daughter wasn't much older than he the first time she came to this same farm house for a party, and looking at him made me realize how fast those 22 years have gone.
There are times when I worry about my daughter. There are times when I wish I had a magic wand I could wave that would guarantee her true love, all the money she will need, work she loves, and an easy path through her life.
Looking around at my friends last night, thinking about all the twists and turns our lives have taken ... the marriages that made it, the ones that capsized, new pairings, new jobs ... I finally came to accept that I can't give my daughter many guarantees, she will have to live her own big adventure.
In the end, the only certainty I can give her is my love.
I hope it is enough.
Want to delve into my sordid past?
She's mellllllllllllllting - Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2012 - Back off, Buble - Monday, Dec. 19, 2011 - Dispersed - Monday, Nov. 28, 2011 - Nothing comes for free - Monday, Nov. 21, 2011 - None of her business - Friday, Nov. 04, 2011 -
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