As everyone knows, one of the best things about Facebook is finding old friends you haven’t seen in decades. About a year ago I started reconnecting with friends from elementary school, who I haven’t seen in 15 years or more. With a maximum of 25 kids in each class, we really got to know each other and each others’ families – mix that with birthday parties and numerous field trips and you’ve got a pretty tight-knit bunch of kids. And we were.
By October I had reconnected with 15-20 friends from that period, so I decided it was time to create a Facebook group for our class. Within 48 hours there were 20 members and pictures galore! The memories flooded in!
The more I saw, the more I really wanted to meet these people again. There were so many years of specific memories tied to these 20 friends! I sent out a message asking if they were interesting in getting together this holiday season as a sort of “class reunion.” With a resounding “Yes!!” we planned a casual get-together at Chili’s in our stomping ground. (SN: Chili’s is easy – it’s casual and in Florida it’s always 2-for-1 drinks which is handy in case the company is awkward and uncomfortable – fortunately, it wasn’t.)
The first person I met up with before going to dinner was Andy. In 1st grade I almost drown in Andy’s pool (not kidding) but was saved by two classmates, then my mom came back and made me put on water wings and stay in the shallow end = humiliating.
As we pulled into the Chili’s parking lot, I instantly spotted Len and Kristin on the bench outside. In 4th grade we had a fashion show at Kristin’s house for her birthday. Her mom did our hair and makeup and we got all dolled-up for our photo shoot!
Len was one of the guys who rescued me in the pool. I remember thinking he was so smart in school – he always did the best on tests and in classes too. Plus he played on the basketball team, which made him cool.
As we sat inside waiting for more people to show, in walked Rob. I remember him teasing me in 5th grade on our way back from recess because I had a crush on his cousin, which I didn’t appreciate. I’m also quite sure he was my partner for the etiquette dinner at Olive Garden.
All in all, we ate, laughed and shared memories for 4 hours around the table. We talked about how much that private school cost our parents (ridiculous) and how grateful we are to have that foundation. And although there has been a lot of heart break and loss in our group, deep down we’re all happy where we are today.
Saying goodbye was bitter-sweet. But we plan to have another reunion next year with even more friends, and we might even invite the teachers 😉