We're going to my twenty-year college reunion! After JoyDad's surgery follow-up appointment yesterday, he was cleared to lose the crutches and the wrap and dressing. So he is once again free to shower (whew!) and to wear street shoes and to walk around as much as is comfortable.
GrandpaJ and GrandmaJoy, courageous souls that they are, will be staying for a long weekend, hanging out with Rose and Joy and supervising the various Joy-therapies that will happen during that time.
While it can be fun to occasionally revisit old stomping-grounds and old memories, the big draw of a reunion is the people. I'm looking forward to catching up with two of my former roommates!
So I got a pre-reunion e-mail a couple of days ago, a light-hearted survey of reunion attendees. The last question was the most interesting one, and went something like this:
How different is your life than you'd have imagined it when you were at [college-name]? (Give your answer in degrees; zero is just as you'd expected, 180 might be "planned to be a high-powered investment banker, ended up a rural pastor")
I'm quoting it badly, but that was the sense of it.
Now, one of my least-favorite interview questions is the one that asks you to talk about where you'd like your career to be in five years or ten or whatever. I've never really liked to think or even dream that far ahead.
However, I think that if you'd pressured me to talk about 20-years-down-the-line back in 1989, a lot of what I might have said... has come to pass.
The librarian thing wasn't hard to predict. I was working in the library on campus, and the one career-matching test thing I did at the campus career center had librarianship pop right to the top. Though I might have envisioned a more ambitious career than what I've had so far.
Settling in the Midwest? Uh-huh. Right where I feel at home!
I kind of figured on meeting an awesome guy and getting married someday, though answering a singles ad and winding up with a guitar-slinging tax economist from the big city wasn't exactly how I'd have pictured it...
Centrality of Christian faith in my life, being actively involved with church... check.
Two kids? Yep. I was one of two, and it seemed like a good number.
But the biggest surprise, the most startling unexpected life-changing challenge and blessing? My delightful daughter Joy. Someone I never could have predicted. It's hard to put a number on the degree-of-difference she has brought to our lives. In some ways, it's just another flavor of parenting. In another way, it changes so very much.
One very specific thing that it's changed for this weekend is that we're not really able to bring the girls along to reunion. I'm sure Rose would love the kids-camp daycare setup, but it's simply not set up to work for someone like Joy. On the other hand, if we took the kids along, it wouldn't be a getaway! And I expect that both they and the grandparents will enjoy the weekend immensely.
I don't think I'll attend the session at reunion that involves discussing the next twenty years. That's too far ahead to think right now. Besides, I never did like that interview question.
P.S. If you'd told me in 1989 that I'd be running a 5K race at my 20th reunion, I might have laughed at you!