Saturday, May 28, 2011

Little Charmer

That Simon knows how to charm the ladies with a big wad of drool hanging from his mouth. This is not an uncommon sight at our house as Simon's drooling is really picking up, which may indicate he's got some teeth ready to poke out, or it may indicate bad manners. Both are implausible given his pedigre.

Our little guy survived his second trip to Texas this past weekend, when he was forced to accompany his mother to her 20-year high school reunion. Yes, you really can go home again, as long as you are prepared to deal with your four-month-old son having explosive diarrhea BOTH times you go through airport security. But seriously, I was so grateful to have my family on hand as I took my trip down memory lane with my high school friends. Reliving the highlights of my youth really put a fire in me about my kids having a chance to have the same things: great education at a single-sex school. I honestly can't name an all-girls or all-boys high school in Chicago, but Cook County has about 13 years to come up with some for my kids.

I am so grateful that I showed up for the weekend. There were a few half decades where I couldn't even open mail from my high school because I was so envious of everyone who was married and had children. Now that my personal life is a source of deep joy and contentment, I have the courage to reach back and reclaim the parts of myself that I buried because of that shame. It felt so good to reconnect with my high school friends, all accomplished, beautiful, articulate women spread all across the globe. Ok, mostly just the United States and London, but we are a very cosmopolitan group. I feel sad for what I have missed because of my shame, but also grateful that the shame has lifted and allowed me to come out.

My mom gave me a box of old keepsakes full of notes and love letters and other assorted memories, including a cassette tape titled, "Dating Jesus." I have no idea where that came from, but it's currently sitting in a trash bin in Dallas, Texas. I found notes from high school friends full of love and drama, but really mostly love for me. I recall being fairly insecure and needy around friendship in high school and despairing about matters of the heart, but it's clear from that box that there was some strong love and support coming my way during those years. I wish I could have taken more of that in. I hope the lesson has been learned: so much love right exists right here and right now-- most likely more than I can even digest.

It's profoundly happy and also somewhat sad, because I have missed a lot of chances to love and be loved. I am glad that this past weekend in Dallas belongs squarely in the column of a time where I showed up for love, both giving and receiving.

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