Saturday, April 25, 2009
Warm Weather, Warmer Thoughts
April is nearly over and my daughter and her friend informed me last night that they have fourteen days of school left. "Including exams?", I queried. Yes, indeed. My mind raced through the field not of dreams but nightmares as I contemplated all that I need to accomplish in this short time frame. Let alone the not yet completed graduation quilt that I felt compelled to donate at last year's auction, I have many resposibilities remaining as memorabilia co-chair for the all night graduation party. I have copied, scanned and received by email over 500 photos. These will all go the DVD we are preparing for each student, on a series of 8 boards to be displayed at the party or perhaps both. As I studied the photos I watched precoscious preschoolers become young men and women living their high school years to the fullest through not only their class work but also the sports, clubs and other activities that have woven their lives together like threads on a loom. While they may night appreciate the finished blanket, and in fact are anxious to pluck the strings binding them to the high school, in the future they will realize how this time period in their lives has shaped the people they will become in the future. Some of the threads will never be broken.
I wasn't in the "IN" crowd in high school. Instead I was part of a number of different groups - the precision drill team, drama club, track club, girls' glee club, etc. I did have three close friends that I spent all of my free time with, though. I keep in touch with two of the three on a fairly regular basis. Our 35th high school reunion is this summer. I have attended all the reunions in Des Moines except the 5 year, which I felt was much too soon after graduation to get together. The classmates I most cared about had attend my wedding the year before, and frankly at that point the rest I had no desire to catch up with. Each reunion had a different feel to it. At the 10 year, a lot of people were still in the dress for success mode, trying to impress with the number of kids they had or the jobs they were doing. The 15th reunion was much more casual, and as such brought out classmates that hadn't attended in the past. By the 20th everyone seemed much more comfortable in their skin, if you will, and the same was true of the 25th. By the 30th we mourned the death of fellow classmates, but the relaxed atmosphere led to more conversations with people you didn't know all that well in high school. Rumor has it that this year one of our classmates and the band he played with in high school will be performing at the reunion. The band was inducted into the Iowa Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2008. That should be a kick, as we flash back to the music of the '70s.
So in May I'll watch my daughter walk across the stage, and in August I'll take her off to college and then get together with the people who walked across the stage with me back in 1974. Full circle...