A Phoenix Burning

Back to the 80’s yet again…1988 to be exact.

So, I graduated from high school twenty years ago, which naturally means that my Twentieth High School Reunion is being planned for this summer.  Twenty years.  It hardly seems possible, and yet it seems a lifetime ago.  I am not the person I was then. 

The news of my reunion has brought out the truth however.  What truth, you ask?  Well, the truth of my “adjustment problem.”  The very first thought that came to my mind when I heard about the reunion, and contemplated actually attending, was not, “Oh, my! What will I wear?”  It was, “Gee, I really wish I was still teaching so I’d have something worth talking about.”  The second the thought popped into my head I was both ashamed, and enlightened.  “That’s it!!!”  The “it” being, why I feel so lost at times now that I’m a stay-at-home Mom.  I have always payed lip service to the whole “working at home raising a family is just as important and meaningful as working at a paying job,” but maybe I haven’t believed it as wholeheartedly as I always thought I did.  Thus my “adjustment problem.”  I guess at times I feel a bit useless.  When I was teaching, it was easy to believe I was doing something meaningful.  At home folding towels and cleaning floors, doing dishes and vacuuming, it’s harder to feel like you’re a contributing member of society.  Yes, of course there’s the whole “I’m raising decent people and if that’s not contributing I don’t know what is,” but there’s always that little niggling pest of a thought that I could be, or should be doing more.  So there’s the truth of it.  I know in my soul I’m doing the right thing for our family, and I LOVE watching my boy grow and learn daily…so many things I missed while working when the girls were this age.  I mourn a little too, when I watch him, wishing I could have done this then.  I get so excited to see the girls off the bus, you’d think I was welcoming home David Cook.  *tee*hee*  All the little things I get to do and be for them make everyday a blessing. 

So I will work on believing myself worthy. 

And in the meantime, I will think about what the heck I’m going to wear…and should I grow my hair back out?  And maybe I had better start yoga again…And maybe it is time to color my hair.

It’s also amazing to me how many old feelings and animosities come rushing back when contemplating this reunion.  I looked at the list of “Reunion Committee Members” and that list was the same list I would have guessed twenty years ago…these same girls (now women) who were ultra involved in clubs, and in social life.  The pretty girls who had the boyfriends, played sports, and threw the parties.  You guessed it…I was not one of them.  I used to be jealous of those girls that seemed to have it all.  And then I grew up and wiser and realized I was luckier than most because I didn’t have the burden of popularity.   I have one friend left from high school and we didn’t become close until college.  He admitted to me that I was “the type of girl you married, not the type of girl you dated.”  I really wish he had told me that in high school…I might have had a bit more hope for my future.  As it turns out, my future is exactly what I had hoped it would be…a husband who is my missing piece, three beautiful kids who fill my life with joy, family and friends to fill any little cracks in between, and a past and future career that I am proud of. 

Not bad for twenty years.  I guess I have something worth talking about after all.


7 responses

  1. I know your feeling (and as I guessed we are close in age – I graduated in ’87) although I didn’t go to my “reunion”. I put that in quotes because the so-called committee did fairly lame job trying to contact people for a very expensive sounding affair; the only reason I heard anything at all about my reunion is because I happened to be kicking around on Classmates one day for the heck of it. I think we all have those little doubts about our choices. I stayed home for about 4 1/2 years when my girls were born. Felt guilty about not contributing financially to the household. Now the girls are older and I feel like I’ve found that happy medium between being there for them and making an albeit small financial contribution.
    We are worthy – whatever our choices! 🙂

    June 4, 2008 at 4:53 pm

  2. Squeebee

    Hey, KD…I feel your pain! Or at least I did for my 10 year reunion in 2001.
    I was a good student back in the day, and at my 10 year reunion, I was a stay-at-home mom. I felt a need to justify my decision, because of all the expectations others put on me. It was a little uncomfortable! It’s sad that being a mom isn’t valued enough in our society. I am more secure with my decision now (as it seems you are, KD); to heck what others think!

    June 4, 2008 at 5:41 pm

  3. Squeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!
    You’re heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeerrrrrreeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!
    I’ve been missing my Gabber 2 friend!
    How the heck have you been? How are classes?

    June 4, 2008 at 6:51 pm

  4. I’ll second that…. Squeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!
    Allo, mon ami Canadienne! Or something like that.

    I have the opposite problem. I don’t have children of my own, just stepchildren. And sometimes I feel like I am not making a significant contribution or doing anything important because I am not guiding and forming little minds. So, I guess we can all feel a little better knowing that we all feel like the grass is more significant on the other side of the fence.

    June 4, 2008 at 7:51 pm

  5. Squeebee

    Awww…thanks for the warm welcome, you guys! I have been reading the blog since you sent me the email, but haven’t commented til now….it’s a great read! Classes are DONE, and I am on-call for the local school district till the end of the month. I am loving it!

    June 4, 2008 at 10:15 pm

  6. Now I have time to respond for real!
    Yeah, I really am at peace with my choices, so why do I feel the need to justify those choices?! *UGH*
    “So what are you doing now?”
    “Well, I’m a stay at home Mom now…BUTItaughtfortwelveyearsbeforethatandreallylovedityaddayaddayadda.” Why do I feel like I have to say the BUT?
    So, I’ll work on that. Funny how I don’t feel that way about any other Mom on the planet…I make no judgements, especially having been on both sides of the fence. So why do I do it to me? lol
    Ah, well, I guess we women are just born to guilt…we wear it well!

    June 4, 2008 at 10:15 pm

  7. Squee…looks like we’re on at the same time, just like old times! 😉
    Glad you are here.
    So excited for you and your exciting new life! Keep us posted!

    June 4, 2008 at 10:17 pm

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