I Felt Very Old Last Night

I’m 38. I’ll be 39 in May (the 4th, if anyone wants to send me a gift). Last night, I felt older than I ever have. We had gone to see the Winter Guard unit that my sister coaches. They were competing against a bunch of other units down at her school where the competition was being held. We had a lot of fun watching the performances, and even Thomas loved it, which surprised me quite a bit.

But what made me feel so old was being around so many young people. Hundreds of teenagers were there who sang, danced and goofed around with their friends. They chanted chants and danced steps that everyone seemed to know. I was flooded with memories of my own high school experiences. Those times seem like a lifetime ago, but at times it feels like they were last week. As I’ve said before, I was an indifferent student in high school, but I loved being there. I had lots of friends and while I may not have always been part of the “in” crowd, I was at least part of the “nearby” crowd. I had good times. There were bad times, too, but there were far more good times than bad. As I watched the kids having such a time, I kept thinking to myself, “That used to be me!” But it hasn’t been me for a very long time.

So while I was enjoying the performances and cheering when a performer would flip a rifle 15 feet in the air and catch it, I was also simmering in self-pity for the times that are gone and will never return. And then… I started thinking of how it won’t be long before my son is in high school and then graduating and then… what? I hate getting into those moods.

My 20 year high school reunion was supposed to be in 2008, but it didn’t end up happening. Based on what I’ve heard, it should be sometime in 2009. I will defintely be there. Perhaps being around some of my old high school friends again will push these feelings away for another 20 years. I’m hoping so.

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