After leaving Helsinki in 1985, Ken Cannon, our two sons, and I travelled through Europe for about six weeks, which sounds a lot more romantic in theory than it was in real life. But whatever. I'm glad we did it.
One night we stopped at a campground somewhere in France, where we met an older couple. He played the guitar and sang. She listened. They spoke a little English, so we learned that they'd had five children--all of them grown now--and so they were spending time traveling and enjoying themselves. Maybe I was just imagining it because I was so frazzled at the time (I also happened to be pregnant with our third at the time), but they seemed . . . peaceful. Contented with what their life was and what their life had been.
I did not, however, see myself or my future in them. At all.
Well, Ken Cannon and I did have five children. And we're probably the ages of that French couple now. And while we were driving through France this month it occurred to me that we had become them, all these years later.
Except, of course, without the guitar.