Last week, Chris and I worked together in a noisy breakfast shop. It smelled of eggs and coffee and forks clanged on glass plates as we typed away at our computers. I tapped my foot on the clean, black and white checked floor as Bruno Mars sang about being locked out of heaven.
The college women at the table next to us snapped selfies drinking coffee, their faces half covered by the big white mugs. They discussed wedding plans animatedly - would their weddings be in a church? Yes, unless, of course, they decided to do destination weddings. If it's a church, they already know which one - it's beautiful and just down the road from where we are. But, ah, the allure of the beach.
I smiled as I listened, checking quickly to ensure their were no engagement rings on their hands. They may have been representing a different school than I attended, but, in a lot of other ways, you could have dropped my college friends and me right at the table and the conversation wouldn't have missed a beat.
Well it has to be in Indiana, I would have said. Probably the church I grew up in. Though the beach does sound beautiful. But would you want your dress to get sandy?
As I listened to them, I felt fondly reminiscent. Not for college or even wedding planning, though. For the tender, sweet naivety of being 20, when the idea of considering anything beyond your small bubble of dreams is foreign.
They were so far from considering the fact that they may have fiancés who have an opinion on their weddings. Or that over the next decade, they might fall in love with a new city, in which they are dying to be wed. Or, even more foreign, that they might be called to something else entirely, deciding not to get married at all.
I thought of myself at 20, so certain of who I was and what I wanted. And although it feels like those days are gone, only a thing of the past, it hit me that we're sort of in them now, too.
We have big plans for the type of parents we will be. We talk about what gear we should register for. How we will sleep train. What we'll do during labor. But, the truth is, we're so naive to it all. We've never had a baby! We have no idea what his or her temperament will be, what sleep training techniques will work or if he or she will like to sleep in a bassinet.
We're not all that different than those girls. They're talking cakes and flowers, while we're talking monitors and swaddles, but we're all just trying to make the best plans we can with the little information we have.
I sipped my coffee as I looked up at them, watching videos from the night before, clad with red cups and a game of Jenga. Chris leaned over to ask me if I think I'll want a birthing ball in the labor room. I smiled at the circuitousness of it all. We don't know what we don't know, do we? But sometimes, naive confidence might just be what keeps this kind world spinning.