Last night I went to a high school homecoming parade and pep rally. Now remember, y’all, I am from Texas. We love our football. So, a Homecoming parade and pep rally is for the entire part of town that feeds into that particular high school. Everyone gets into the spirit. Old. Young. Adults. Teens. Elementary. College. It is for everyone. So you can imagine the energy that reverberated around that gymnasium. All at once I was 17 again and loving the beat of the band, the screams of the student body and the energy of the football team. Yet looking around me I felt completely ancient. As in “In my day I walked to school in the snow uphill both ways” ancient. (Yes, as a matter of fact I did grow up in Texas and that shall not diminish the accuracy of the claim I make.)
As I sat on the floor of the gym (my knees and butt have reminded me that I am too old for that) looking around at the high school kids, I suddenly realized sometime between my senior year in high school and waking up yesterday morning, I became old. Not old as in “Who is that crazy old lady in the back of the bus screaming about some old cheese smell?” but old as in “I am not a kid anymore.”
In fact, I am so far removed from those kids, I could have been their mother. (Please pause while I gnash my teeth and weep for a moment as I realize I have become my mother or your mother or any mother who was looking at those kids and thinking “Gawd, I became–of all things— a parent– at some point when my youth wasn’t looking.“) I will admit that I did enjoy myself and have fun in the moment. And? I enjoyed remembering how much fun it was in high school at my own school pep rallies. And when I looked as young and fit and young as those kids look. (Seriously, though? When did things head south and for that matter, hips and butt head east and west? And was that really necessary, Ms. Metabolism and Mr. Age? So wrong!)
But as I watched the fun unfold I thought “It hasn’t been that long since I was one of them.” And then after I got home, it happened. I got a notice in my email about my 20 year high school reunion. TWENTY years? Oh, I don’t think so. There is no way. I did the math. Yes, way.
As I looked at my kids and the fun they were having. I watched my 6 year old as her eyes lit up every time the cheerleaders performed. (For that matter, every time they looked at her and waved.) I saw her future and the fun she will have. Then I watched my preteen as he realized he is so close to being a part of all of that action. Suddenly, it didn’t feel so wrong to be old enough to have kids that are looking at this in their future. (The very near future in some cases.) Because? I would never go back to high school if you paid me. Sure, many of my very best friends to this day are people I met in high school. They know me better than anyone in the world. (My husband included. Remember, he is my high school sweetheart.) I will admit, there is something to having people in your life who knew you then and know you know and yet…still love you. But going back and living in that time again?
You couldn’t pay me enough.
But it was fun! And it was a nice trip down memory lane. But I prefer to stay here in Momville where I am the parent of the teens who have to go through all of the High School Drama that is the teen years and not one of the young kids who think that those are the best years of their life. Because? Now? Where I am now? These are the best years of my life.
I’m totally there with you on the old part. We actually marched in the parade last night – I was with the group that had the giant Peacock as the mascot. My daughter was the one in the Queen crown. Anyway, I kept looking at the kids and wondering where the heck the years had gone and asking myself WHY did they look sooooo young. I can’t wait for my kids to experience everything that life has to offer and stuff like last night just adds to the excitement.
I hear ya! I have half-sisters high-school age and when I go to school functions I feel so OLD.
But no WAY would I go back to that time. If being young requires being back in high school, I’ll take old any day.
You ask an excellent question. Old? Yeah, some days I’m feeling it. But the why I am still only in my 20s in my head?
I’ve recently had quite a few doctor’s appointments while recovering from a head injury. It made me realize just how old I am, because EVERY nurse, doctor, and x-ray tech I came in contact with, was YOUNGER than me!
ladies I’m old…61 however, there is a beautiful young women lost in my body..and she skinny, energetic and cute… Even if I never find her again, I remember her well, and she keeps me young in my heart…cute site, I’ll be back Dorothy from grammology call your grandma http://grammology.com
I’m with you: I wouldn’t go back to high school for anything in the world. College, maybe. I connected better with my peers there. And Friday night — tomorrow! — I’ll take Amigo to his homecoming football game. (The blind kids in high school don’t drive themselves :))
You couldn’t pay me to go back either – everything was so dramatic!
And I, by the way, just got the info about my 30th high school reunion. Three Oh – THIRTY. No freakin’ way. 🙂
So yeah, it happens.
it is indeed a rather surreal moment when we come to this realization. it gets weirder my friend, i say this while i try to plan a vegas vacation for myself and my (GULP) daughter who is turning 21 in 2 months….why the heck she wants to go to vegas with me escapes me but she is still my baby girl.
enjoy the 20 year reunion. it is a blast although i must say the 25th was even better.
Ater reading your post I realized I’ve been out of school for 6 years. My son attends the school I did and more often than not I always feel at ‘home’ whenever I’m there to pick him up or attend an event. And yes, I get just as excited about pep rallys and all the other fun things I remember. Part of me greatly misses being in highschool but than again, as you said – you just couldn’t pay me enough to go back. Nope.
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I did not go to my 20th either. But boy, would I have loved to be a fly on the wall and see how everyone turned out!
I’m with you. No way I would go back to high school. I may no longer look “young” but in my mind I feel like I’m as cool as I was at 25. Only a lot wiser. The only way I would ever go back to my teens or twenties is if I could take what I know now with me.
Well, last week I turned 25. I know, I know – I’m still very young. But I have a 5 1/2 year old son in Kindergarten and a 2 1/2 year old daughter. I’ve been married and a homeowner for nearly 3 1/2 years. I have hip problems, and THAT makes me feel old for sure. My friends my age are all starting their fabulous careers after graduating college and moving to new places… I’m a SAHM with a very different life from them. I also had a few gray hairs covered up at my last coloring session. I’ve been through alot more than other people my age, and survived! Its made me a wiser person. Not to mention… that everyone thinks I’m at least 30. Apparently, the children have aged me. Ah well, they are worth it. 🙂
And I like to keep myself young by playing video games with my husband and his younger brothers. Makes me feel like a youthful slacker. I love it. 🙂
OH MY GOSH! I had this very same moment. Not at a pep rally (thank god, I never much got into those)
First let me tell you a little about myself. I am a mother of two, a 12 yr old and a2 yr old. I know its a big gap. Sometimes we need time to forget, especially when we are the crazy type that insist upon natural labor. Anywho, I have also been known to declare my age in this way…
“I just had my 3rd 29th birthday”
Thats not to say 29×3 GOD NO!! I mean to say I have turned 29 for the last three years in a row. Its an honest denial. So I am COUGHCOUGH31GOUGHCHOKE. I know so many say it, “You are still a baby. You have your whole life ahead of you.” That whole road ahead starts to seem a bit shorter when you can, for the most part, imagine with in reason what is laid out for you.
So to my similar experience. My husband and I decided to catch a 10pm movie on a Friday night. Downtown. At the biggest (20 cinemas) newest, flashiest theater in town. Yep, we were letting it all loose. Living on the edge.
We stopped to grab a bite to eat at the Applebee’s next door and stood outside chatting on the staircase platform over looking the street and movie entrance below. We stood there quiet for some time. I think we were both thinking and feeling the same thing. We dared not at first to admit it. So we just watched. A flood of memories. How unknown the future is. How simple life looks. How easily amused we were.
OH MY GOD and sooooooooo damned obnoxious!
(except at the time we did not know that part, we knew we were “cool” or excepted among our peers)
Finally I had to say something.
“We are old”
“yes we are” mumbled my husband.
Later on the ride home after the movie and after watching the teens run about like there was not a care in the world. As if to be respectful was an intrusion on their personal freedom. I thought to myself, “Indeed those were good times, times I may never have again. But for all of it there is no amount of money in the world someone could offer me to do it all again. Nope you can not pay me to be 15-21 again.”
Life is different now. My children are on their way to true social engaging and the stage of “the world is my playground”. Through them I am sure I will visit many memories again. Visiting them is enough for me.
I am only 29 for crying out loud…. did I mention that?
Worries made us old. So stop worrying about getting old, it will reduce aging by one notch. Learn to meditate, it’s a mom’s beauty secret, minus the expenses for the facials and the spa. Stay beautiful Mom!
Love & Gratitude,
Think Simple. Be Decisive.