Wednesday, September 12, 2018

High School Reunion

I had my class reunion the third weekend of August during our rural town, mid-America hometown festival. While it was so good to see folks I haven’t since June 1, 2003, the greatest reunion I’ve experienced since that time has been the most unexpected.

I had no (known) enemies while I walked the halls of Hagerstown High School years ago. But if you asked me the person that I avoided the most, the answer would have been easy: Her name was Morgan. We didn’t run in the same circles (to be fair, I only ran if I was being chased) and when our 17-year-old lives did overlap, it was never overly friendly. I don’t remember specifically why we were never on the right path from day one, but I know I was never a friend to her, and vice versa. 

Fifteen years later, you can imagine my surprise when I began seeing Morgan in the waiting room each time I had a doctor appointment for our second child. As fate would have it, she, too, was expecting a second child. To take irony one step further, we were due on the exact same day: August 5, 2018.  

A lot can change in fifteen years. 

Over the last seven months, I’ve communicated more with Morgan than anyone from high school. I’ve found her to be a source of comfort (“Can you believe we’re in our last trimester already? The end is near!”), reassurance (“I asked my doctor about that and he said it is completely normal…”), insight (“I have a recipe you have to try…”), humor (“You will not believe what I did today….”), and company (“I hope I’m not waking you, but you’re probably awake, anyway….”). She has become the new friend I never thought I’d need at 34-years-old. 

I’ve learned to view Morgan as the kind of person who has been through a sleepless hell, only to walk out of the flames carrying buckets of water for those (that’s me) still consumed by the fire. I know she’s exhausted, but she always asks me, “Is Cyrus sleeping better for you?” That is kindness from a mother with experience. 

Motherhood is quite lonely, even if you’ve not technically been alone for four weeks, two days and seventeen hours (not that I’m counting). But I’ll tell you, having someone in the trenches with you makes it a whole lot better. If you look at Morgan and I’s paths to today, they’re drastically different in schooling, careers, relationships, and beyond. We've never once talked about high school or the years that fall into the 15-year gap since we spent 45-minute classes together. We only talk about today. Or, last night. I’m grateful that we had one similarity, strangely aligned more than a decade after high school. It’s been a fantastic, ongoing class reunion. 

And, a great lesson to remember when my daughter comes home upset with classmate. I'll now have a story in my back pocket that I can share...
"Don't be mean to her, she may be your lifeline down the road. Let me tell you about a girl named Morgan..."

I think back to my high school self and wonder now what began and drove that wedge between Morgan and I in the early 2000’s? We were adolescent girls, so I’m certain it was petty and brief. Unfortunately, it took me fourteen years and nine long months to resolve it. 

That reminds me of the old question, “Whatever is troubling you: in five years will it still matter?” I wish I would have asked myself that in 2003. That would have spared me a couple awkward visits in a waiting room in order to find a friend in Morgan.