Blast from the past

This year I spent a lot of time in the "land of nostalgia", due to our high school reunion. I thought about good times and talked for hours about the past with friends.

I became friends with girls I used to think hated me (some of who read this blog!). I got back in touch with HK. Ours was a friendship that fizzled in about 7th grade. HK was creative and beautiful back then. Now she has flourished into an amazing butterfly of a person and I value our transcontinental connection. We're friends again. Everything else is water under the bridge.

I got back in touch with long lost neighbors and have kept in touch thanks to Facebook. We shared pictures of our kids and talked about "night games" (neighbor kids getting together on hot summer nights to play Ghost in the Graveyard and Neighborhood Hide and Go Seek). Maybe these things still happen, but kids don't roam out streets they way we did then.

And who would have thought that the boy who sat next to me in homeroom for about 5 years would turn into anything but a menace? But he didn't! Several months after reunion we still talk sometimes.

When I was pregnant I thought about the bad times I had - and various challenges that I failed to meet. It made me insecure about parenting, but by then it was too late to turn back. Sometimes I see my own past in N's struggles. "I'm not popular" he told me last week, my heart breaking. I wasn't either, and for a long time I wasn't happy. He's a boy and he's not sporty. I was a girl who wasn't pretty. I was an outsider for many years. Around the reunion I had a self-inflicted moratorium on negative memories. It was an active process - I only wanted to remember the good.

Today I had to face my past when someone "suggested a friend" to me on facebook and then followed up asking if it was great to be back in touch with him. No, I responded, I am not friend-ing someone who we can call Evil. I was never very close with Evil's friend, but we have gotten in touch online and he seems nice now. But I refuse to befriend (even if only on Facebook) Evil. Some things don't get forgotten.

I rarely think about Evil and I hadn't planned to, but now I am realizing why. It's one of my biggest fears for my kids. I don't really worry that they will be snatched off the street. But I do think about Evil and people like him. Evil's friend, Nasty Bitch, also reminds me of other threats that leave invisible scars. Another thing I can't control - Cancer - also is in the top 5 list of biggest fears.

But until today I had gone along with my life, cursing Bill Gates (yesterday's "crisis" at work)and worrying about small stuff.

The big stuff is out there. And it will rear its Evil head when we least expect it. I can't give my kids real weapons, but I can arm them. Self-confidence, trust in your parents and yourself and knowledge that they are loved. That I can give them...

... and Love always wins over Evil!


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