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There’s No Place Like High School

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Nothing makes you reflect on your past like high school reunions (except maybe having children, but I’m not there yet). I spent this past weekend in the company of the menagerie of wild animals with whom I kept company at boarding school; the rearview mirror has become especially clear. We laughed at the photos of ourselves from another lifetime, and queried the room about those who hadn’t made it back. We laughed about old hilarity and reminisced.

It’s impossible to capture all the moments, but there was one old friend who made me squint back in time and realize that the makings of this graceful woman were all there, just hidden under the easygoing tenor of her youth. We laughed when we realized that we shared a lot of the same old flames from those days, and I cooed over her gorgeous daughter as she cooed over my single life in California. I think there was a moment, just a moment, of wistfulness in us both. She is cool and pulled together, lovely and strong, and is managing to pull off a graduate degree program in statistics and a 5-year-old at the same time.

I had the sense to tell her how much I admired what she was doing, but I’m not sure it stuck. Somehow the everyday heroics of a good wife and mother are sometimes hardest for the woman herself to see. If you read this one, MA, my hat’s off to you.

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