This is that one magical weekend a year when I get together with around a dozen of my nearest and dearest friends from high school. We all go to a "lakehouse" (in quotes because it's bigger and nicer than our regular home) and spend two days eating, laughing, catching up, floating on the lake, and thinking about how lucky we are to have known such wonderful people since we were 16 (or, in some cases, 5) years old. Most of the spouses have been around for so many years (Keith and I started dating when we were 18, for example) and fit in so well that sometimes I almost forget they didn't actually graduate with us.
This year, I think there'll be 10 kids there: one 5-year-old, and the rest younger. The youngest just turned one a few months ago. It makes me so happy for Eleanor to grow up with my friends' friends. I hope that her friendships with them, at least some of them, turn into real, deep connections and not just a case of "I'll hang out with them while we're at the lakehouse, because I don't have a choice." So far, she loves the annual lakehouse weekend, and is eagerly anticipating this one.
In contrast, we have a 15-year high school class reunion planned for September. Most of us are planning on going, but I'm guessing the reunion experience for me will be very different from the average. Keith has not only met once or twice, but knows and is friends with, many of my high school friends. He was a groomsman in Dan's wedding, and makes running and concert plans with Jen's husband. I'm curious to see what we'll do at the reunion: Will we stake out a table and carry on where we left off at the lakehouse this weekend? Or will we ignore each other, because we're already up to speed, and seek out the people we've lost touch with?
I'd imagine it will be a bit of both. Sometimes wandering off to reconnect with old acquaintances, but always wandering back to the familiar, seeking the reassurance of people who really know me. No explanations or updates necessary. The excitement and the unknown of the 15-year class reunion in the Fall will be fun. But the lakehouse is what I consider to be the real reunion, and the one I'm looking forward to the most.