Even now, having three children who have traversed the halls of our giant-sized high school, I sometimes find it strange that so many years have passed since I was in their shoes.
In some ways it seems like I was just there.
The memories as a whole are fading and filling gradually with growing, sometimes gaping holes, but there are certain vivid ones:
My friends and I, all those years ago, cruising by boys houses that we liked, our seats reclined so no one would see us (I’m sure they would never recognize the car we drove, right?). Rollerblading late into the night. Crazy shenanigans in the high school parking lot (a friend driving my car with another friend on top of the car…the teenage brain is not fully developed I have to remind myself) when my Dad happened to drive by the high school and see us (all-knowing parent eyes), and come take away my keys without even a word. (I knew I was in deep trouble on that one.) The football games where we couldn’t seem to win (our high school made the national news for the longest high school losing streak), the basketball games with my whole heart in the game, the pep rallies, the never-ending homework, the good teachers and the bad. We had an open campus so we could go to lunch wherever we wanted, but more often than not we headed across the street to 7-Eleven where I would purchase a chocolate covered doughnut and a small box of cheese nips to get me through the rest of the day.
There were the dances, wild with activities and finding dresses (or making them myself with oversized floral upholstery fabric…for real),
(I could have sworn I have posted more of these crazy wing-dinger dresses on this blog somewhere but I can’t find them…)
…the drives, the boyfriends, the dear friends, all trying to figure out who we really were and making decisions that would affect oh so many other things in life.
I adored those years.
I never wanted them to end. Elle reminded me so much of my own high school self way back then as her graduation approached last year and she bemoaned the sad, mournful fact that “the end” was coming whether she liked it or not. I reminded her she had no idea what was coming, life keeps getting better.
And it does.
But I’m so grateful for the foundation that was built in my high school years.
Of course my friends are what made it so great. I’ve mentioned before how painfully shy I was. And I don’t now how it happened, but somehow in the whole ups and downs of high school this group of girls gradually formed into a tight bond. One that is still going strong twenty-seven years later.
Yes, you read that right. Twenty-seven years!
And most of those close girlfriends who have changed me for the better for over thirty years came to the desert to visit last weekend (we missed you girls who couldn’t come!).
They came five years ago (back HERE
) and we decided it was time to get together again and made it happen.
How I love these girls!
I adore that we can pick up right where we left off any time we get together.
We share so much history it’s crazy, and sometimes it just does good to the soul to sit and reminisce on the good old days, and discuss and dissect and rejoice in the new.
Which we did.
The whole entire weekend.
For one of our meals we went to the very same restaurant we went to when they came five years ago, sat in the same kind of booth, and all ordered the very same Thai steak salad that we all did last time they came.
…and it was just as good.
We took bikes out from our hotel and did a little mountain biking.
On a gorgeous spring morning.
I loved sharing the desert beauty with them.
Had to have an analogy for these Saguaro giants that had been transplanted (above). We decided those stakes supporting them were kind of like our group of friends in high school and beyond.
Supporting and holding up (at least most of the time :).
We sat by the pool…
And talked and talked, and wrapped up as the shadows inched closer and closer enveloping us in the evening chill.
We ate the best food.
…where we sat around tables for hours on end (literally) and just talked and talked until deep into the night, and then extended those discussions back to late late in our hotel room.
The last evening, I brought them home with me before we headed to the airport.
I loved that my girls got to meet them.
Oh sure, they’ve met them before, but there’s something about that girl up there second in from the right being the exact age we were when I got home from our family’s six month stay in England and these relationships started to cement into place.
How I hope my children can all chose and keep friends like these who will be those stakes to hold them up (like those Saguaros we saw at our hotel) through the ups and downs of their lives like these girls have been to me.
There was a gorgeous sunset to wave them off at the airport, and wink goodbye to a great weekend.