The girls in my family don’t get together as often as we used to, but three generations of Hacke girls always yields some sort of laughter and an extra heap of memories onto the mound we’ve created over the years. This summer’s adventure included a bistro movie – my first. I’m a fan. The theater is more spacious and the seats are comfortable. There are more food options, and it can be delivered right to your seat if you choose. It took us novices some time to figure out the new possibilities. Someone kept hitting the recline button as she tried to get out of her chair, causing a comical back and forth routine. Someone misplaced herself on the way back from the restroom. Someone got the giggles, then passed them along to others. Someone kept stealing popcorn from someone else. (Another) someone misplaced herself on the way back from the restroom. Someone nearly blinded herself with the hidden light inside the payment folder. Someone was the only one in the movie theater who laughed at a one-liner. Someone stepped out when her friend texted an emergency that ended up being a non-emergency about a pet. Someone got the giggles again. Someone talked to people she thought was her family while in the bathroom, then found out it was the wrong family.
It wasn’t the best movie. It wasn’t a perfect afternoon. But it was fun. It scooped more memories and added a few sprinkles. It was a day well spent.
Sometimes I think about what has changed in my life over the last couple years, and I feel sad. But not much time passes before I look around and see so many friends and family I still get to do life with. The tough season has included some intense conversations with friends and family closest to me. And we have grown as individuals and together because we have done tough stuff together. Being willing to dig in, be honest and transparent, and slog through the quagmire does something to relationships. It strengthens familiarity and commitment. It provides a rich context for those silly days, everyday moments, and sprinkle-on-top memories. It reminds me that in our imperfections, when we’re willing to invite others’ and share our own, we foster a trust and transparency that lets us experience life together with a deepened gratitude.