>High School…revisiting, beginning
>Last night, had I been blogging, I would have written through blurry eyes courtesy of the Cosmopolitan that I sipped during my, gulp, 26th high school reunion. Even as “I Want Candy” banged out through the room as I hugged classmates and listened to tales of children, divorce, and even death, my writer’s brain began to compose today’s post.
The timing of this multi-class reunion is serendipitous, as my first born, my baby boy, begins high school tomorrow! I know, you are shocked, too. How can it be? He was just three and running around in pink rubber boots.
Much to his dismay, we are cut from the same mold. We’re deeply sentimental, passionate, often easily hurt, but loyal to our friends. Seeing my former classmates stirred up an array of memories–some wonderful (days of cheerleading), some painful (girls can hurt each other so much), some arousing old insecurities (ditto), and some causing me to blush (no comment). I find myself in awe that my son is at this place in his life. And while he will certainly have moments of self-doubt, elation, pain, joy, disappointment, and success, I know that he’s beginning his journey with a foundation of four steady legs (his father and mine) rather than the teetering stool of my family of origin.
Entering my forties is like a second adolescence. As my children grow into the years in which I fought for my independence and place in life, I, too, am challenged to shake things up and throw off what isn’t “me”…case in point, quitting my job as a therapist and daring to pursue my dream of being a writer. Harder, perhaps, is coming to peace with what is happening to the outer shell of me. I laughed that had I actually committed to attending the reunion prior to two weeks ago, I would have: (A) lost five lbs., (B) got a little Botox, and (C) ordered my business cards earlier. In truth, it would have been nice to have the cards handy to give out my e-mail address, but my stubborn five lbs. and lines came at a price; the price called “living!” I won’t give up sweets and I have an expressive face. Maybe this is the lesson for me in this second adolescence: to accept what is and enjoy.
When I left the reunion, three thoughts struck me (even with the Cosmo buzz lingering). The first was how great it was to see old friends. The second was how lucky I am to be married to the same man for 22 years and actually still find him the most attractive man in the room and adore him. The final was how blessed I am to be surrounded by amazing friends who love me and let me love them.
I wish my son the best. He’s going to get hurt, he’s going to fall down. But he’s also going on a helluva ride and learn a lot about himself and what he’s made of. My hope is that at 43, he can smile at the past, but even more so, smile at the present!