This past weekend I celebrated 10 years since graduating from the College of Law at the University of Saskatchewan. "Celebrated" is not quite the right word. "Acknowledged the passing of an arbitrary milestone by sharing beverages with old classmates" is more accurate.
The festivities started on Friday evening with a modest get-together at a local pub. Attendance was pretty sparse, which was sad. I don't know why so many people didn't bother to show up, but those of us that did wanted to make it worthwhile. We ended up at Whiskey Jack's, a karaoke bar just down the alley from our old house. I can't even count the number of times we ended our evenings there, how many times I pretended I sounded EXACTLY like the person whose song I was singing, how many times I was glad that I didn't have to drive home.
This time was different. Mostly because - as a friend put it shortly after we'd arrived - "Hey Erin, look it's your son at the bar." My old age didn't stop "my son's" friends from asking me and another classmate to dance, like we were cougar trophies or something. I initially said yes and then the boys wanted to touch and stuff and I had to walk away before it turned into some weird scene from a teen movie, one that's more American Pie than John Hughes.
The next day we made plans to go over to the campus. I hadn't really been there in the ten years since I graduated. We started by having lunch at Alexander's, a U of S institution. The place hasn't really changed at all. At all.
The back booth at Alexander's
Other things that haven't changed:
The Notice Boards in the Tunnel
The Arts Ramp
The door to the classroom - Arts 143 - where I first saw my husband, 16 (!) years ago.
The beauty of the campus
Seeing all these things that haven't changed reminded me of who I was when I saw them for the first time. Truth be told, although these things were part of my every day life it's not like I ever really noticed them, at least not like I do now. Maybe I notice them now precisely because they have stayed the same. They're familiar, when so much else is not.
I am not the girl in the convocation gown, smiling back from the photo hanging in a back hallway of the law school. I mean, physically I am the same person, but we're not the same. I want to warn her about all that is ahead, but I know that she'll be better off for figuring it out on her own. I want to tell her that she doesn't have to worry because in ten years she'll be back, with two beautiful kids, a job she loves and a husband she can't imagine living without.
I'm here to show her what she's become. Lucky girl.