I am blessed beyond measure with wisdom that comes from members of my immediate family.
My frame of reference is my wife and my two sons.
One of them offered me a bit of wisdom this weekend that is giving me serious pause about whether I should attend a reunion of my high school graduating class.
It’s the 50-year reunion that is coming up in October. I had leaned against attending. As of this moment, I’m back on the fence. Totally neutral. I have indicated to close friends that I could be “talked into” going.
My wife and I attended my 10-year reunion in 1977; I flew back for my 30-year reunion in 1997 — and I hated almost every minute of it. I vowed then I wouldn’t return for any subsequent reunions. The 40-year reunion occurred without me. I had no regrets about staying away.
But then my son and I had a conversation this weekend that went something like this:
Me: You know, of course, that I am thinking about whether I want to go to my 50-year high school reunion.
Son: Yes, I know. I also know that you aren’t too keen on going.
Me: That’s right.
Son: Let me offer this bit of advice. You said your 30-year reunion was a bummer, that you hated it. I think the reason was that you went alone. Mom wasn’t there. You also set the bar too high. Why not just go this next reunion with Mom, see your friends, have a good time — and then go do whatever you want to do with Mom?
Do you see what I mean about wisdom? I’ve never told my sons that I was the knower of all knowledge. I’ve always had an open mind to whatever advice either of them — along with my wife — were willing to give me.
My wife and I now are retired. We purchased a fifth wheel recreational vehicle, which we tow behind a big ol’ pickup. Were we to go, we likely would haul our RV to Portland, Ore., where we both graduated from high school.
As I understand it, our Parkrose High School class of 1967 is planning a dinner in October at a hotel near Portland International Airport. We could attend the dinner, have some laughs, get caught up; my wife knows a couple of my classmates — one quite well, the other not nearly so.
Then we could say goodbye. Go back to our RV, visit some family and a few of our many other friends we have in the city of my birth.
Then we would be on our way to, oh, destinations to be determined.
I won’t set the bar too high. I won’t seek to rekindle relationships that I learned at the 30-year reunion did not exist in the first place.
Hmm. I am now thinking carefully about the wisdom I received from my son. That reunion is beginning to beckon — and I am beginning to pay attention.
I’ll keep you posted.