Dr. Langlas’ quiet, steadfast example changed that for me and I am so very grateful. I mean, don't get me wrong, he was an incredible AP English teacher and that class will always be the best class I took in high school. I learned so much from him and will never forget his patience and gentle encouragement, his brilliant wisdom and the way he used literature to teach me the important things I needed to know about the world before I went out into it alone. But what he showed me that winter break will always mean more.
I carried these words with me through the next years as I struggled to wrestle my grief and disillusionment and pain and joy and hope to the ground and redeem something new and beautiful with it all. I carried them in my heart and revisited them when I needed the reminder that this renewal may look like telephone poles but I don’t have to care. That for some things, for this thing, there was no wrong season. And like Mary Oliver, it was what I dreamed of for me.
Before the end of the evening we set up the self timer on the camera and all got in for one group shot. We’re smiling and happy and there are incriminating red solo cups scattered across the counter. I hope someday my kids come across this picture and smile at the sight of their parents clearly having too much fun. I hope they’ll know just how hard and just how worth it it is to chase after a few hours of carefree fun with your friends. And I hope they’ll have their own thirty-something friends to be carefree with, in only for a few hours.