So here I am, 24 hours post class reunion. I am, to quote my grandmother, too tired to wiggle. It was a fabulous time, and much too short.
And it’s true. We are who we are back then, only now we have mortgages and 401Ks and maybe a kid or four.
Back in high school, there were six of us girls who ran around together, thick as thieves. We cut up in class, ran wild in the hallways and ran afoul of that Baptist school in a thousand different ways weekly, I am sure. Five of us made it back to the reunion and we recreated a picture we took on our last day of high school, so many years ago. It was a blast and I’m surprised no one wet their pants.
The classmate who planned the shindig invited us back to his house for a bonfire and adult beverages. After a Ranger IPA and some of the most marvelous tequila (agave juice may be proof of God’s love), I started to get a little (more) sentimental as I looked around the fire and visited with old and still dear friends.
I wonder what we would have done back then, those five girls in that picture, collapsing in giggles, if you told us what was to come. I wonder what all of us would have done that night when we moved our tassels over if the commencement speaker said this is what the next 20 years will bring: suicide, children who die, children with disabilities, spouses who die, divorce, singleness, spouses who cheat, loss of faith, change of faith…
We were all so much lighter back then, weren’t we? Even those of us who had already dealt with some pretty serious stuff, and the statistics say quite a few of us had, we bore it so well. We laughed. We squealed our tires in the parking lot. We recklessly stole second base, the basketball, the quick kiss by the lockers.
I was so concerned about being real the other day that I didn’t notice all the other Velveteen rabbits in the room. At this stage of the game, all of us have had our whiskers loved off, pulled off or missing for some reason. We’re all wrinkled and chubby, going grey or bald.
But our essences remain. That person God made us — the quiet one, the noisy one, the party girl, the serious student, the one-who-hollers-at-people-in-authority (three guesses who that is and the first two don’t count)…these are who we are. This is who we have always been. This is the person God interacts with, the one He is amused by, concerned with and loves. Mostly, I think, we’ve aged pretty well. We’ve improved and mellowed, like fine wines if you’ll pardon the cliche.
With all this time, weight comes (and not just around our middles). These things we’ve done, these struggles we’ve had, the victories won and battles lost, we end up carrying them around. I guess that’s age. And we seem to be bearing that pretty well too, at least in my humble opinion. So much grace. So much…
Hey gang, I love you all. To the quiet ones, thanks for being patient with us, the rowdy and rude ones. To the noisy ones, thanks for keeping everyone from falling asleep. I can’t wait for the next time we all see each other again.
But I don’t think we’re doing too badly now…