high school reunion

by humanmama on November 26, 2012

When my parents divorced, I was in fourth grade. Well, age-wise I would have been. Actually, I had been entirely home-schooled, and wasn’t really in a grade, although I definitely was at or above grade level. Academically. So, of course, when my mom went to work after the divorce, my sister and I went into school, and thus began 5th grade for me. Painfully shy, totally blown away by the school social structure that I had never learned, and going through some serious family stuff, school was pretty hard that first year. But you know what’s right after 5th grade? Yes, that’s right. Middle school.

One of my favorite authors, Anne Lamott, writes in her book Operating Instructions that she had one terrible fear about bringing a child into this earth, one fear that eclipsed all the rest, and that was the “agonizing issue of how on earth anyone can bring a child into this world knowing full well that he or she is eventually going to have to go through the seventh and eighth grades.” It’s a scary time, middle school, and I did not emerge unscathed. So, when it was time to think about high school, I, with now almost four years of public school under my belt, did desperately want to go to a different school. Enter the all-Catholic local girls school.

Catholic school was like fresh air. There was the understandable and totally normal cliques and groups of girls here and ere, some meanness, some cattiness, but mostly people minded their own groups and didn’t do too much patronizing. I finally felt accepted and even glad to be going to school, instead of yearning for the days of home-school. I grew more outgoing, and my personality was aided even more by the great atmosphere of the school. I surely had friends who smoked and drank but by and large, or class was made up of some pretty level-headed people who accepted you for you. And, since I wasn’t Catholic, I got to argue some pretty exciting points in religion class.

So this last weekend up in my hometown, we had our fifteenth reunion. And it was like nothing had changed! I could still envision Kristi in her plaid skirt, Jamila quoting Maya Angelou. I could remember painting sets for the school play with Margo and watching Kim totally defeat Regina in our Powderpuff games. And even more fun than discussing new news was the at least three girls I went to school with say to me, “Is it just me, or did everyone marry really old looking guys?!” Pretty sure those guys are our age. Pretty sure we are still picturing ourselves as sixteen, so Why are there all these mid-thirty-year-old guys here?!

What a great time–the girls who helped me become who I am today all hanging around discussing kids, homes, Cheryl’s photography, Maggie’s new baby, Liz lives in LA now!, Andrea home schools all four kids! And realizing it was more than just a plaid skirt that kept us all together, it was a sense of comraderie that got us through sports, field day, powderpuff games, plays, and now it’s what lets us stand around being ourselves and reminisce. Sure thankful for great people, and sure hoping that my girls can have a great high school experience–no “mean girls” required–so that in 30 years they can hang out with their schoolmates and reminisce.

And probably talk about how old their husbands look, too. Amen?

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“Look at all those old guys, Tiff!

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return man 2 November 27, 2012 at 11:40 pm

I like this post :-)

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