Summer Nights

The most prominent memories of my childhood involve summer parties. Some at home, many at my parents’ friends. Once in awhile I’ll drive by a house, and I’ll remember a party, but I don’t have any clue who lived there.

I remember chicken on the spit, waiting to get a string to chew on when they’d come of the fire. I remember red keg cups and learning how to pump a tap, running to get beer for my dad while he’d be playing horseshoes. Warm nights and skies full of stars. Playing with kids you’d only see at parties, running around until the wee hours of the morning. I remember rides home, exhaustion and heavy eyes. Seeing friends and family and people having a good time being together. These are my favorite memories.

Tonight we spent the late afternoon and evening at a Labor day party. My dad’s band played. The children ran and played, a constant smile across their faces.

I saw people, friend’s of my parents, that I’ve know my whole life. I watched couples that have 30+ years together. Watched them laugh and play with one another. Watched them dance together and I could see the love.

It’s odd. My parents separated when I was 3, divorced when I was 6. They were always amicable with one another, and still friendly and considerate. On my mom’s side of the family, everyone has been divorced: my grandparents, my mother-twice, one aunt-once, and the other aunt-four times. Growing up, divorce seemed like a part of marriage.

It was nice tonight, to sit back and see people I have watched grow from their 20s and 30s into their 50s and 60s. To see that they have weathered the bumps and bruises of life and marriage and made it through. To see them still love one another, hang out and have fun. To see them enjoy life, together.

Tonight my faith in marriage is encouraged. In a world where almost 1 out 2 marriages end in divorce, you can still make it. You can fall in love, get married, work hard, compromise, and live happily ever after.

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