I had this great idea for a blog post yesterday. As I was driving to Ben's 2 week doctor appointment the Sarah Mclaughlin song "I Will Remember You" came on. It's not like that is my favorite song in the world or anything, sure I've heard it before but it holds no real significance with me, but for some reason I just got all emotional and started crying my eyes out. I was pretty sure that it was the line, "Don't let your life pass you by, weep not for the memories" that really got me. So that got me thinking about a post I could do about memories and why they are so precious to me; however last night while I was feeding the baby (clarification: I am constantly, constantly feeding the baby at night. . . he sleeps all day, eats all night) I realized that the part of the song that really made me cry was probably, "I'm so tired, but I can't sleep." That made me laugh, both parts are worth crying over :).
On with the post about memories. . .
It puzzles me how so many people hated high school and junior high. "I'd never go back" they say with determination. Me? Not like I would trade my life now for my old life, but I certainly wouldn't mind doing high school all over again. I am sure I am looking back in rose colored glasses; there certainly were hard, trying, emotional times back then; but SO many good times too ( I am about 90% sure it is illegal to use two semicolons in one sentence, but since I don't fully understand them anyway I cannot be held accountable)!
I was contemplating this and other really memorable times in my life, Oakcrest and my time serving with the young women in Minnesota in particular. What is it about these times that makes me so emotional when I reflect back on them. I yearn for those times. Am I a 14 year old trapped in a 25 year old body? It's not like I secretly long for braces and zits (how could I long for zits, those happy little reminders have stayed with me always, what true friends!). I think the thing I miss are the "familiar masses". Getting old is a lonesome process!
In Junior High and high school you go to school, every day, with the same people. Over the course of three years you know almost everyone. Your lives are intertwined so much even with the people you hardly know. There are so many people to be with all of the time; football games, dates, girls nights, classes, work etc. Something fun or funny will happen several times a day. When I read back in my journal from these times I make lists of "memorable moments" nearly every week. Of course funny things happen as a mother all the time; but those are a sweet kind of funny, I am looking for a make-the-milk-come-out-your-nose kind of funny.
At Oakcrest and serving in the YW there was just such positive energy, and so much love! At any given time at Oakcrest something funny was happening and there were always 30 of my dearest friends within a mile. Always someone to talk to, to laugh with, to cry with, to sing with, to pull a prank on, etc. When else can you be sitting in a meeting and then have ten people run in decked out in cheerleader outfits and lip sync to NSYNC (or some other boy band!). Those are the kinds of fun times I am talking about. If I were to run into FHE and perform a lip sync I would be met with blank stares and rolling eyes. Not Oakcrest! Where else would you perform skits and go bum sliding down a river? Where else would you sing for 30 minutes after every meal the most ridiculous camp songs? I love this place!
Being called to serve in the YW in Minnesota was the best thing since Oakcrest. I was around a giant group of girls, and it was okay to act silly and to sing songs. To do skits and to play jokes. I remember going to the campout and while the other leaders were doing grown up things like cooking the meal, I was dancing around, singing and playing games. . . I was home! And the beauty of it is that the others wanted to be doing the adult things, and I would have hated to be doing them.
It's puzzling because I have never felt like I needed a big group of friends to be happy. Most of my life I have had just one close friend. And I certainly would choose one close friend over a million "kind of" close friends.
I just miss the kind of good times that can be had with really close friends and the masses, there is a happiness and an energy that you just can't seem to find too often later in life. It can be found, mind you, it is the kind of silliness that comes when your waiter at the fondue place can't seem to hear a word you are saying and starts peppering your friends salad uninvitedly, or it can be found in the wee hours of the morning having a sleepover with your two best friends right before you move away to Texas (even though your sleeping babies are just a room away); the problem is that these times are so rare now and back in the day, back before I knew how precious they were, they happened all the time.
Hmmm. I can see you all laughing at me on the inside. I am a 14 year old stuck in a 25 year old body. Can I help it if my best idea for celebrating Ralphie's birthday was to go and kidnap her at 5:00AM for breakfast, or to cut out little teepees and "TP" her door. Those kinds of silliness just aren't appreciated any more--- who wants to get out of bed at 5:00AM or clean up paper teepees off your doorstep-- probably just me :). I guess I will just hold until Gwen is going through these types of fun times. I will warn her to enjoy them because they go by too fast. She won't listen, she will think they will last forever, just like I did!