Grown-ups like numbers. When you tell them about a new friend, they never ask questions about what really matters. They never ask: "What does his voice sound like?" "What games does he like best?" "Does he collect butterflies?" They ask: "How old is he?" "How many brothers does he have?" "How much does he weigh?" "How much money does his father make?" Only then do they think they know him. If you tell grown-ups, "I saw a beautiful red brick house, with geraniums at the windows and doves on the roof," they won't be able to imagine such a house. You have to tell them, "I saw a house worth a hundred thousand dollars." Then they exclaim, "What a pretty house!" That's the way they are. You must not hold it against them. Children should be very understanding of grown-ups. --Antoine de Saint-Exupery, author of "The Little Prince"
It's been 10 years since I was in high school. Seriously. (Yeah, supposedly there is a reunion in the works. We'll have to see how that all turns out!) In some ways high school seems like it's lifetimes ago and in other ways I can remembering the social dramas and classes in that building in Buckner.
I think college has passed. My husband has even had time to earn a graduate degree that makes it appropriate to put esquire after his name. Wait, back up ... Before that I met my husband, we dated, broke up a few times and then married. We've known each other for almost nine years (Feb. 7 is pretty soon ...) and will celebrate our fifth wedding anniversary this summer. I've grown up enough that I want to be a mom now and I've worked in my current job for 3 1/2 years, even though it seems much shorter.
And people around me have changed and grown. My "little" brother has a 3-year-old and my parents sold my childhood home. My dad works in Jacksonville Beach much of the time, and when he's not there he likes to be in Indianapolis. Of the two girls I thought would be my best friends forever, I have grown closer to one and never talk to the other. Thankfully another girl who shares my perfect melancholy personality stayed around here after college.
This all got me thinking about connections. People all have their individual personalities (made up of strengths, weaknesses and plenty of quirks) but that's not as important as who people are together. We all have our things (both serious and seemingly insignificant) that bond us to others. We have the TV shows we watch, the board games we play, the song people sing, the jokes that prompt much laughter, the words we use, the times we cried and the crafts we made. Some relationships are more complicated than others. Some we need every day; others are perfect (and somehow intended) for a given moment.
I graduated from Oldham County High School in 1997, that's 10 years ago come this June. And while I'm awfully thankful my world didn't freeze there, I realize the importance of those moments and connections and want never to forget to ask if she collect butterflies.