Because We’re Keeping The Dream Alive….
It wasn’t until my kids started going to school that I paid attention to the way people work and interact, I guess I was reliving my childhood through their eyes, while using the wisdom of my years. I have a tendency not to dwell on my past, so I was always moving forward and never looking back.
I used to volunteer endless hours at their school and after school activities. I used to play with them like a kid. I began to pay attention to how other mothers did it. After all kids 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, instead of doing what our parents did, which was “The best they knew how” instead of learning, I set my goals very high and I wanted to learn it all and do it right.
Some of the mothers were right there with me, every day, as volunteers in activities and the classroom and field trips, and the multitude of after school activities. There were so many you could chose from that you would go crazy trying to decide which one was best for your 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, plugging away and doing our best.
Then there were the working mothers and the playing mothers. Those that would meet for coffee at Starbucks and a game of tennis, 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 wear shoes. Some I interacted with for years and some I never even met.
Then all of a sudden the kids grew up, and the friendship we had developed over their entire lifetime started to blossom, but at the same time 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 left unfinished. But by that time I could hardly remember most of my formative years, so I went in search of my past and stated with my long lost family and childhood friends.
I knew I was going to have to spend many hours doing this, but I had the internet, I never doubted something good would come of this new Science Fiction World. I started with my highschool. I contacted the principal who happened to be one of my old classmates and dear friend’s 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 75 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 kids, I think we were about 90 give or take a few. 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 years, we were spending a big portion of our day together witnessing and being a part of each other’s lives.
And just like the mother’s 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 or not much interest in delving into the 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 some 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. Only this time I know who I am…