SHS Class of 1990

“Congratulations Scottsbluff High School Class of 1990…you may officially turn your tassels!” I felt privileged to offer a final prayer to our graduating class, and then make the awaited announcement that we could place our tassels on the opposite side of our mortar board cap to indicate that we were official! That was twenty years ago, which hardly seems possible considering I don’t feel 20 years older than I did on my graduation day. I do feel like I’ve grown up though.

I remember my thoughts just 10 years ago when considering my 10-year reunion: I wasn’t quite sure I wanted to attend. I enjoyed highschool, but I wasn’t looking forward to the possible “one-upping” that I anticipated would happen between former classmates. I was married, had two little kids, weighed at least 10 pounds more than most would remember, and had left my full time occupation as a physical therapist to be a stay-at-home mom. I drove a mini-van. I lived in a hundred year old bungalow. I carried a diaper bag. What would people think?

I was wrong about how the reunion would go. It appeared that most everyone had grown up, and it didn’t feel like anyone was bragging about anything, rather just telling a story about where their life was currently. I enjoyed myself.

Over the years, I’ve kept in touch with a few friends from high school…and since the Facebook evolution, it has been easy to stay updated or at least feel somewhat knowledgeable about where someone is and what they’re doing. As our twenty year reunion approached, I really don’t remember feeling anything more than, “It’ll be fun to see everyone.” It was fun.

July 2010…we’re all in our late thirties…something that seemed OLD when we were in high school. My parents were barely older than I am now when I was graduating!  As many of us gathered for a weekend of reminiscing, there were many comments on how it didn’t really seem that many people had changed much at all in appearance. I don’t really think a weekend is enough to determine if people had changed beyond appearance. (Although, I know that I’m not the only one that has memory issues…we were all glad for name tags) It was fun to learn where former classmates live, what they are doing, how many children they have, etc. There are doctors, attorneys, engineers, farmers, homemakers, teachers, business owners…Of course, the common response to my announcement that we have seven children was sort of disbelief. Not that anyone didn’t actually believe me, rather that they couldn’t begin to imagine.

We remembered musical performances, bus trips, weight room records being set, Saturdays at Pepa's, those who weren't there with us...
The common question throughout the evening was if we were going to have our own TV show. “Of course not” I replied, “I like our life without that kind of stress!” Not that we would ever really consider something like that anyway. Besides, a family of nine is not that unusual.  "Are you done?"  "I don't know...I'd hate to ever say 'yes' to that question...we'll just see."  I noticed that twenty years later, everyone seems more genuine, more real. I felt that way. I like my crazy life where I chase seven kids around and tackle a big load of domestic chores. I like my old red suburban that is decked out with an extra seat to accommodate all of us. I don’t mind that I haven’t had time to golf since I was pregnant with Jonathan and that I can’t remember all the manual therapy techniques I could efficiently perform years ago. OK…so I wish I wasn’t 20 pounds heavier than when I graduated, but I honestly didn’t really care that someone may have noticed.

It was great fun to catch up with old friends who didn’t really care what I don’t have and seemed genuinely interested in what makes me happy today. It was fun to hear what they are doing, and what is making them happy today. It was fun for me that Tim could jump right in and feel like he could have genuine conversations.  Maybe there weren’t big surprises because of Facebook. The only thing I wish I could have changed had nothing to do with where my life is now, but being back twenty years later, touring the high school, seeing all these former classmates, made me wish I could have been as confident and comfortable with who I was 20 years ago as I am now. Wishing I could have not cared what other people may have thought so much then. I don’t have a lot of regrets associated with high school, but it made me really think about instilling that kind of confidence in my own kids…so they can easily stand up for what they believe in now AND later.

I’m looking forward to seeing everyone again in 2015…my goodness, how our lives will be even more different then! Many of us will be experiencing high school with our own kids at that point! Some may even have more kids! I'm just sayin'!  Ha ha.