I was lucky enough to be invited to a reunion of sorts on Friday night; a bunch of people that I went to elementary school with got together for a party, 42 years after we all first met.
There were 8 of us 1962 babies there; we all met in kindergarten when Canada was celebrating a hundred years of Confederation. I moved away from that school in Grade 6, so I didn't graduate with the rest of them, but they kindly invite me to all the reunions. I met up with most of them again when we all went to the only Catholic high school in the city.
God, it was fun. What a lively, entertaining, enjoyable crowd they were, full of stories and "remember when"s and everyone had some contribution to the collective memory. Most of us still live in the same city, and keep in touch with at least one person from that class. My friend Kelly (she of the inventive Christmas gifts) is the one I see the most of, and occasionally run into someone else at the grocery store or the mall. Of the group, most have lost at least one parent, there have been a few marriages, divorces and remarriages. Children have been born and grown....one woman is even a grandmother already. A few of our class have already passed away, and several people's parents still live in the house they lived in when we went to that school.
One of the things that struck me is that people don't really change as they get older, they just get more like themselves. I think the personality you get at the age of 7 is pretty much the personality you've got for good; happy people stay happy, funny people get funnier, discontented people don't come to reunions. It was a bit disconcerting to see those 7 year-old faces looking out from 47 year-old bodies, however.
My sister-in-law grew up all over the place, moving frequently and never really making any lasting friendships. She once said that she thought I was very lucky to have friends that had known me my whole life, and that she wondered what it was like to have people who knew your whole history. I think I'm pretty lucky, too.