When my kids started attending school I began to pay more attention to the way people act and interact, I guess I was reliving my childhood through my children's eyes, while using the wisdom of my years.
I used to volunteer endless hours at their school and after school activities, and noticed how other parents did it. After all children don’t come with instructions and I certainly didn’t know if I was doing it right or wrong. I wanted to be a “perfect” mom, and not do what my parents did, “the best they knew how”. I decided to set my standards high and wanted to learn as much as I could in order to make as few mistakes as possible.
Some of the mothers were right there with me, every day, as volunteers in the classroom and field trips, as well as the multitude of after school activities. There were so many to chose from that I'd go crazy trying to decide which one was best for my kids, so many classes that no matter how many hours they could add to the day there were never enough to do it all, learn it all and be it all, but there we were, trying hard and doing our best.
There were the working mothers and the playing mothers. Those that would meet for coffee at Starbucks and a game of tennis, shopping, a day at the spa, a few trips around the world, some craft making class and wine tasting on Friday night, while the kids stayed with the nannies; or those who couldn’t afford to give their time to the kids because they needed her salary to buy books and shoes. Some I interacted with for years and some I never even met.
Then all of a sudden my kids grew up, and the friendship we had developed over the years started to blossom, but I realized I had put my life on hold this whole time, and although I loved what I did, I needed to find out who I was now.
I knew then I needed to go back to my own childhood and try to remember some of the things I had experienced or maybe even those I left unfinished. I have 'some' very vivid memories of my childhood, but I could hardly remember most of my formative years, I had moved away in my early 20s, so I decided to go in search of my past and started with my long lost family and childhood friends.
I spent many hours doing this, but I had the internet, and never doubted something good would come of this new 'Science Fiction World.' I started by placing a call into my highschool and asked for the principal at the time, to see if he had any information, and found out curiously enough that he was one of my old classmates cousin, so he got me her e-mail address and she gave me someone else's, and in a fairly short period of time, 4 or 5 months, which is nothing compared to the 35 yrs. I had not been in contact with most of them; I had collected about 80+ e-mail addresses. Then I looked for a venue where we could all meet again one more time and catch up with our lives.
I did remember that we were never really a close generation, nor a large one, unlike my kids who just graduated from a generation of almost 1,000, we must have been about 90 give or take. But I did know one thing, that no matter how close we all were, we did have wonderful experiences together for many years, and at one point in our lives, in some of the most impacting formative years, we were spending a big portion of our days witnessing and being a part of each others lives.
And just like the mothers from my kids’ school, there were those who wanted to get involved in making this happen, some that had major careers and trips and busy lives, some who lived very far away, those with not much interest in delving into their past, and some who had challenges and just couldn’t participate.
5 years ago I stood in front of about 70 of my childhood friends. They could have brought Ricky Martin to that party and we would have still continued to talk to each other for hours without paying attention to our surroundings. We had history together and we all seemed anxious to share on the history of the lives we had lived for the past 35 yrs.
We are a very special generation, a lot of stories have come out of our lives, some challenging, some successful, some failures, and we’ve even experienced the loss of a few of our dear friends.
Not long ago I stood again in front of many of them, we put our arms around each other just like we did when we were kids and we will continue to do each time we see each other, with the appreciation of a friendship that lasts a lifetime. A special part of our history. Only this time I know who I am…