Today I am thankful for our adopted college student & his fiancé.
Through our church there is a program in which we “adopt” a college student from UW-L and then meet up with them, make them dinner occasionally, and help them feel like they have family in the area. For the past three and a half years we’ve had an awesome student named Jake.
Over the years we’ve had the opportunity to get to know him and watch him grow. He’s a great kid, obviously the product of an excellent family. His head is screwed on right, he understands what it takes to be successful, and has a great set of values. Our boys absolutely love him and we always have a great time with him. Tonight he brought his fiancé Emily who is also pretty awesome. They’re a great couple and you can just tell they’ll accomplish a lot together and have a great family. Like Jake, she is incredibly polite, super friendly and positive. And if there were any question, she likes IPAs. 🙂
Becky made a pretty delicious supper (kabobs) and we had a great time telling stories, hearing about their lives, sharing our stories, and maybe having a wonderful craft beer or two.
The reason I am especially thankful for them tonight is that while listening to their stories and challenges I’m transported back in time to a time when Becky and I were their ages. It’s wild to hear about the things going on in their lives and think back to the first car issues we had, the interesting housing choices we made, and so on.
In talking with them I can’t help but throw out our stories from 15 years ago and tell them with the same gusto in which they were experienced a decade and a half ago. Looking back I can’t help but chuckle at the fun we had, mistakes we made, the wrong decisions we made, and how in spite of it all we were happy and in love through out it all. There were good times and tough times, but we were together and that was all that mattered.
While thinking that it also teleports me 15 years into the future thinking about how different our lives will be, what our experiences will be, and how we’ll look back at where we are now and wonder how we made it through those crazy times. Maybe we’ll even chuckle about the the fun we had, mistakes we made, the wrong decisions we made, and how in spite of it all we were happy and in love through it all. I wonder if that’s occasionally how my friends & business partners Mark & Norm feel when we talk about what’s going on in our lives? When I chuckle and think about that it also makes me think about looking at the world through the eyes of my parents. Do they listen to our experiences the same ways we listen to Jake and Emily’s and think back to just how crazy different their lives were at our age?
I also think about the older folks in our church who look at the family with the crying or loud child and instead of being annoyed flash a huge smile at the family instead. Are they instantly thinking back to the day when that was them living their lives and remembering the frustration, but looking back with a newfound appreciation for their similar experiences because that is what made them who they are?
All that thought, all those memories, all those dreams and hope for only for the cost of a meal and a few beers. Seems like a pretty good deal to me! I am thankful that they share their time with us and help me remember where we came from and dream of the excellent future we will live.