Monday, July 27, 2009

Reunions and ruminations

I haven't blogged in a long time it seems because I've been so busy...busy with life, with work, and with a 30 year high school class reunion. My class reunion held in Twin Falls, Idaho the weekend of July 10 had a profound impact on me for some reason. It may be because I got reacquainted with classmates I hadn't seen in years coupled with the realization that I had known many of these 47-48 years olds since the time I was my son Ethan's age. I found myself wondering if the friends and memories he is making today will resonate through the decades.

Of course, I was raised in a relatively small community with a handful of kindergartens, five grade schools, two junior highs, and one high school. We didn't get cable television for years. In other words, the class of 1979 grew up in a relatively cloistered environment with few outside influences. That is a double-edged sword I suppose, but the faces at the 30 year reunion were the same faces posted in grade school photos as if in a time warp. Though we've drifted apart over the years, the foundation of our lives was in some respects each other.

My son is growing up in Boise, Idaho in a different time and certainly a different place. Relationships are as transitory as school boundaries. It doesn't seem likely that he will experience starting kindergarten with a group of kids who will go through a university together. There is something special about such long term shared histories though we have all drifted apart. Friends in childhood reconnect at reunions and vow "to get together this time...really" yet we never do. Perhaps having a shared foundation is enough, and we have used that foundation -- both the good and bad of it -- to move to different places of our own.

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