Thanks For the Memories – See You Next Year.

Last week, I got added to a Facebook group for my high school graduating class. It made my head spin! It’s been.. 17 years. That’s twice as old as I was then. I can’t help thinking about all the things I thought I’d be, and I can’t help thinking about all the things I am, but haven’t stopped to appreciate. Because they hurt. Because they aren’t what I expected and how I expected. And I’m not really who I expected to be by now, but maybe that’s ok. My 17-year-old self might shake her pretty head at me and ask, “Why didn’t you go big? I always told you to go big by now.” Well hey, maybe I still will. Somehow.

There she is. High school graduation party.

graduation

My fourth and fifth grade teachers came to my graduation party. I was so humbled and appreciative for all the things they put into one ear, that stayed in my head and jostled around a bit – and never went out the other ear. My fifth grade teacher told me she’d eat her arm if I didn’t grow up to become a writer. I talk about her sometimes. Do you know what else happened last week? I got to indirectly talk to her (through her daughter and husband on Facebook) and tell her how much I took her words to heart. It was such weird timing – a week of Facebook graduating class groups, and 5th grade teacher conversations.

It’s enough to make your head spin, and I was already head-spinny enough with the end of kindergarten, the end of daycare for the year, Des’ birthday coming up, Scarlet’s birthday coming up, my birthday coming up, and the constant growth I see.

That was so non-specific. We’re all growing!

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It’s the sayings they write on your yearbook – “Thanks for the memories. See you next year.” They get me every time! I’m not entirely sure if other people are as sensitive about the passing of time as I am, but since I’ve only ever been me, I can tell you it’s simultaneously exhilarating/terrifying. I’m talking lump in my throat and pit in my stomach. When they used to change the format of the TV guide, I’d have a panicked moment of missing the old format. Luckily I always adapted pretty fast and I’d get to a point in which I couldn’t remember how it used to be. They changed the Facebook format a lot too. You know it.

TV season finales or worse, series finales. The ends of books. An entire world was contained within the pages of one book. Like most kids, I eagerly awaited the end of the school year because quite frankly, summer rocks. That excitement would always move me over the hump easier than my sensitive heart wanted. I would have little rituals. “This is the last time I’ll sit at this desk. This is the last time I’ll use this locker.” I would read what people wrote in my yearbook. I wouldn’t cry.

I’d ease into summer, because, quite frankly, summer rocks.

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If you’re sensitive about the passing of time, the end of the school year is a bit of a kick to the stomach. It takes so long to grow within the walls of your school or daycare. It takes 9 or 10 months – enough time to grow a whole baby. As much as you learn academically, you also learn emotionally and socially. You self-actualize a bit more than ever before, with any luck.

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I still get that lump in my throat and that pit in my stomach, of the happy and sad variety. It’s no longer my end of the school year. It’s no longer my yearbook to get signed. These lives belong WITH me, but TO someone else. Two someone elses.

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How much will I separate myself and let it flow, just let it flow?

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How will I learn to celebrate the passing of another year into another brilliant summer, and contain the hope of what lies beyond? How will I have my own journeys and let my kids have their own journeys, and let it pair together into a sensitive and sentimental bunch. How will I go on my own adventures, let them go on their own adventures, and also love and appreciate our many years of joint adventures? How will I learn not to count our time as limited, and just count it as beautiful?

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How will I learn to celebrate the successes, get over the setbacks, separate what is what, and learn not to be afraid of pianos falling from the sky, because there certainly a lot of pianos perched to fall out of the sky, aren’t there?

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I think I’ll just ease into this summer, because, quite frankly, summer rocks.

“I will remember you
Will you remember me?
Don’t let your life pass you by
Weep not for the memories

Remember the good times that we had?
I let them slip away from us when things got bad
How clearly I first saw you smilin’ in the sun
Wanna feel your warmth upon me, I wanna be the one

I will remember you
Will you remember me?
Don’t let your life pass you by
Weep not for the memories

I’m so tired but I can’t sleep
Standin’ on the edge of something much too deep
It’s funny how we feel so much but we cannot say a word
We are screaming inside, but we can’t be heard

But I will remember you
Will you remember me?
Don’t let your life pass you by
Weep not for the memories

I’m so afraid to love you, but more afraid to lose
Clinging to a past that doesn’t let me choose
Once there was a darkness, deep and endless night
You gave me everything you had, oh you gave me light

And I will remember you
Will you remember me?
Don’t let your life pass you by
Weep not for the memories”

And umm.. as I was finishing this post, “My Old School” came on Pandora on random.

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111 Comments

  1. Such a great post for the end of the school year! I’m feeling quite nostalgic as my two are going on to 3rd and 5th grades. We were just saying to each other that we can’t believe that summer is here already!

    1. I know it! Ours is still two weeks away, if you can believe that. We are ready. I love the festive quality of the last few weeks of school.

  2. I get that same feeling too about summer approaching, too and seriously thought it was just me. I mean have been out of school for quite a few years and haven’t been teaching for almost 5 years now. But still every June I get these butterflies of excitement for what the summer will hold for us.

    1. I can’t even imagine it as a teacher!! It must be sad/happy for them too. Scarlet’s kindergarten teacher is retiring after this year. Sob. Des won’t have her! She’s really been wonderful. She’s always put me at ease about Scarlet’s progress because I tend to.. freak out.. you know me.
      Happy Birthday!!! I’m drinking an iced coffee from DD right now. Cheers.

        1. I hope so! I’m all neurotic about if Scarlet will be in the class with her best friend. I’ve had to let go because I get so crazy. I haven’t even researched the first grade teachers because I know I’ll just make a choice in my head and be upset if it doesn’t go that way.

  3. Great post Tamara. And I agree summer rocks, I usually couldn’t wait for the school year to end, but would still get nostalgic about it all. It’s funny, the Lyrics you printed above remind me of funerals, not school endings. It came out the year I moved to Atlanta – and I remember the summer JFK died (1999), it always played during the montages on the news.

  4. So, um what is the story behind the piano hanging from a tree? We have an Ironworks artist down the street who has a boat in a tree. Is that the same thing? I realized this year it has been 20 years since I graduated,it does seem far away and yet not really.

    1. Pianos fall from the sky!
      It’s actually a local orchard down the street. They do art installations in the spring and summer and in the fall, they’re just this giant apple/pumpkin orchard/art gallery/chicken coop. It’s glorious.

  5. It’s been so long since high school graduation that the styles are almost back. I work with people born when I was in college. Yeah.

    Summer did mean the end of school, but I found myself longing as a kid for fall again. As a dad, summer is much more fun than it was for me as a boy. Thanks girls.

    You were right, back then, you know. You did go big.

    1. Ouch. But I get it. Or I’m starting to get it. I was born in 1980.
      I definitely have and always will also long for fall. Those crisp and fresh beginnings are oh so sweet.

      I’m not sure I did go big. Sometimes it feels like it. Or that big means something entirely different than I thought. Something smaller on a celebrity scale but bigger on a love and self-awareness scale.

      One can hope.

  6. All of the end of the school year feelings summed up beautifully. We have a high school graduation next week, and in the midst of this happy suit buying, gown trying, hair cutting madness there is a pervasive sadness. You would think I’d be used to it by now. *sigh*

  7. This is such a great post. This year marks the 15th year since graduation. 15th! I can’t believe that it has been so long and yet, not that long at the same time. So much has changed since then! It’s amazing to think back on those memories.

  8. I know this time of year is so bittersweet and seeing my boys say goodbye to their teachers and not knowing the weight of the moment and how it will never be the same. Or my babysitter graduating high school…and I’m thinking it’s such a special time and exciting to be going to college. Oh the nostalgia! But yes it’s a transition time, and it makes me all sad and happy all at the same time.

    1. It really can be sad! You really get to know your teachers or your kids’ teachers. I still miss Scarlet’s preschool even though I’m not sending Des there right now because his daycare is so incredible. I’ll miss her next year, though!

    1. Wow! I missed our ten year reunion. I was living four hours from my old town and fairly pregnant with Scarlet. I also knew that my mortal enemy from high school was going to be there so I skipped it for those three reasons!
      And then, the weirdest thing happened. Over time, I became close with my old enemy. We connected through FB. I love her! I’ll be going to the 20th, I’m sure.

  9. Ah, deep sigh…this is so beautiful. I can relate to all of this, Tamara. I guess we ease into these seasons and changes and growths. In fact just a few days ago, it hit me hard. Missing my kids. We used to go for ice cream sundaes on the last day of school. It was our ritual. Then maybe set up the little tent in the backyard and pretend we were camping. Weep not for the memories. I love that Sarah song. The lyrics so melancholy they bring a tear to my eye. Great Steely Dan tune as well (where are the photos in the video from?). You should be so proud when you return to your school reunion at all your accomplishments and talents.

    1. Wow, good question! I think the photos probably come from Steely Dan members, don’t you wonder? Maybe from their parents even. Love it.
      And “I Will Remember You” was my prom song!
      What a nice ice cream sundae ritual. Maybe you can still do it.

  10. And before you know it, summer will be over!

    It took me about 4 years to get over not having to go back to school in the fall! It was so odd to me that I didn’t have to move back into my college apartment, sign up for classes and deal with BS homework, LOL! I have to say, life after school pretty much rocks – even when it sucks – And I am just easing on into it, every single day 😉 Just like you should the summer. Enjoy every single little second, as I know you are!

    1. You’re so right. Summer will be by in a flash!
      So are you saying you’re only four years out of college? I totally thought you still had to go to college! You’re only 18, remember??

  11. I enjoyed this blog so much, Tamara! Honest To Goodness you still look like that 17 year old girl that graduated from high school 17 years ago! You have hardly changed at all. I bet you could wear 17 year old Tamara’s clothes. You know what? I had high school graduation on my mind most of the day yesterday. I graduated from my high school 40 years ago yesterday. It was Monday June 9, 1975. We had a Graduation Mass that started at 7:00 p.m. and my class of ’75 seniors were the first to graduate from the newly constructed Immaculate Conception Church in Somerville. It doesn’t seem like 40 years since that happy and sad and unforgettable evening. I cried too along with almost all of the senior girls knowing that I would miss nany of my friends and classmates so much. All those years have passed very quickly, and I have seen and lived through so many changes. Today I have been thinking about my dear sister Kathie and looking at decades old pictures and photos of her in our many scrapbooks and remembering. She is celebrating her 70th Birthday in Heaven today. I love all the family pictures you shared with us here. 🙂

    1. Aw, thank you! It’s nice to think I still look like that girl! I probably could fit in some of the clothes. I now have hips, thanks to Scarlet and Des! I used to have no hips at all!
      1975 was a big year! Two of my favorite movies came out then. I love that you cried too. It’s very emotional and enormous and exciting and scary and all those things.
      So sorry about Kathie. I hope she’s having a heavenly birthday!

  12. Yes to all of it. Summer rocks, it’s still a kick in the stomach, the inevitable passing of time even when I want to slow it down. You said so many things I have been feeling, Tamara! And you have much better photos.

  13. I’m just like you – way too sensitive to the passing of time. And these days it seems to go so fast – I just want to slow things down! My son pointed out tonight that he will graduate from high school in 365 days. I totally had to talk myself down from a full on panic attack. Yikes. This post was beautiful, Tamara.

  14. The passing of time always make me a little anxious, especially now that I’m a mom. I worry that it’s all going by too fast, and things change. (Although, honestly, sometimes for the better.) And while I love summer, as an adult I have started doing this annoying thing where I look at all I have going on — and most summers I seem to have almost all of my weekends planned out for weddings, vacations, craft shows and little trips well before it’s started — and think it’s practically over before it’s began! But I am excited for summer. I’ve told myself I am going to take it easier, relax more, not work as hard. (Like maybe even just hangout during Eve’s nap every once in awhile instead of working!)

    1. I definitely think I had times in which I really wanted time to pass by – like Des being a newborn. I was over it! At four months, he became so happy and smiley so I was right with that one!
      If only then to slow down the rest..

  15. Oh Tamara…. yet another passionate and gorgeous post, my friend!! I will be singing that song for the rest of the day! It’s one of my favorites. I am all emotional now- thankyouverymuch for that.

    You always have a way of getting into my gut… twisting it around just tight enough to release those profound stirrings that penetrate my deepest places. You did it again with this one. I get it. I get all of this. Change, time, transitions, memories, moments, pain, joy, the fight within, and the lift that rises with surrender.

    Thank you, love.

    1. It was my prom song!!
      I think you have a way of getting into my gut too. We’re soul sisters with writing and love and life and anxiety and people we love named Cassidy and… what else?
      Nachos?

  16. This was such a great read, Tamara. Haha I totally do the same thing: this is the last time ever I’m going to walk here, or touch this wall, etc. It’s nostalgic but the good thing is that better things usually come right after. I know with the end of the year, it’s insane to think this is the last time he’ll have this teacher, or the last time I’ll pick him up from after school care (today!). There’s something about not ever being able to have it all back that’s a little sad. But then you think of all the cool things coming up and that’s hopefully a comfort. By the way, um, good genes girl! You look exactly the same in high school lol!

    1. Scarlet’s kindergarten teacher is retiring after this year so I feel so sad.. it’s like, “I just met you and you rocked her first year in elementary school and now you’re leaving! Sob!”
      It’s cool to think about all that’s to come, though. Exciting!
      And thanks about saying I still look like that! My hips have certainly changed!

  17. Great piece, Tamera! I also am a person that is very aware of endings and lasts. I naturally look at the sad aspect and have to make a point to focus on the new beginnings. I always loved the end of school, but not so much as a parent. It means my little girl is growing up too fast! As for reunions, my 25th college reunion is this weekend. I’m not sure how that happened. I am not anywhere near where I thought I’d be, but feel very blessed and thankful I ended up where I did!

    1. 25 years is a milestone for sure. And I always wonder if I’ll always think I’m not what I thought I’d be.. or if I’ll grow to love that instead. One can hope!

  18. omg, let’s just say you look EXACTLY the same as you did 17 years ago!!! amazing!!! summer is totally my favorite season of the year, it always makes me so happy. days are a bit longer and there’s not as many commitments as during the school year, so it’s nice to just take things as they come.

    1. Thanks! You’re my new favorite person for that one!! I miss being 17 because I felt like I was never tired. I miss that!
      Here’s hoping I’ll get a second wind this summer.

  19. I to get emotional at the end of this school year. My kids are all moving on to new grades and just watching them grow up and seen how fast time is passing by it makes me happy but it also makes me sad too.

  20. Trying to reconcile the passage of time is a exhilarating and terrifying prospect for me too. So much holding on and letting go that happens simultaneously. It brings me to tears.

    Yes, to summer. . . lazy days and unscripted fun.

  21. We had a reunion last year and it was actually really fun to see everyone again!

  22. Yes, summer rocks! we are weeks a couple weeks in already – crazy GA schedule – and we are enjoying every minute of it so far…it’s the summer of adventure for us…explore…explore…and explore some more. =) I am super sensitive to the passage of time, it’s something I think about al the time, I’m trying to change that and just “enjoy it” and the many blessings of my life xoxo

    1. Exploring! That’s so good! With kids who get out of school so early, do you go back in early August? As you know from the northeast, it’s nearly always after Labor Day here!

  23. It is crazy how quickly time passes by. I get a little sad when things end because, well, life in the moment is SO good! I truly try to make the most of each day because they pass too quickly. But I also agree that Summer DOES rock! It’s my favorite season! Bring on the beach, long and sunny days and summer dresses!

    1. Today was my first day wearing a short dress! 88 degrees and I had to. I don’t love heat but summer is still my favorite. I’m just meant for this pace and I wish.. it could be like this longer.

  24. I don’t have the life I thought I would have when I graduated from high school. In some ways I have the life I always wanted, but never thought I would have. Being a stay at home was something I always wanted, but I didn’t think it would happen. I never dreamed of homeschooling my kids, but I’m so happy that I’m able to do it. Life is funny, because we change and we grow so much as we age.

    1. I feel the same way. I always wanted this, but just didn’t know it would happen. Not like this. It’s all very interesting. And the homeschooling element is unique and new!

    1. Ooh, I may do my 20th in a few years. I’m getting too curious not to do it, although Facebook certainly clears up a lot of curiosity I would have otherwise had about everyone!

  25. Summer does rock! Although, I think summer was more fun as a kid when you actually get to take a break from something versus summer as an adult when life just keeps going on… But, I’ll take summer any way I can get it 🙂

    1. ha. yeah. The best summers ever were the ones during college. They were over there months long! Although I did have to work, I still felt like a kid.

  26. Can’t believe that at 17 you looked almost exactly like today – at least on the photos, because that’s how I know you 🙂 I have missed all my reunions, I was always living somewhere overseas when they happened – oh well.

    1. My hair was super long then, and it is now but it wasn’t in between as much. And now it’s layered. But always still a big mess!

    1. Wow!! I remember getting active on Facebook around the same time my 10th anniversary was being planned, but not enough to actually be inspired to go.

  27. Ack! It’s been 17 years for my class too, and I never thought of it as nearly twice my age from back then. It seems like such a short time ago. Summer is definitely a wonderful, magical time. And I have no doubt it will be magical for your family as well.

    1. I didn’t realize we were the same age! I thought I was older.
      Summer is so magical and still over a week away… but who’s counting?

  28. My daughter graduates soon, and she has been having the same feelings. She is sensitive about time passing as well, which is understandable.

    1. Today is my son’s third birthday and as celebratory as it is, I needed some quiet time to feel a little melancholy too! It was strange but happy to celebrate too. He took a long nap.

  29. Time moves fast but the memories stay with us. The idea of talking to my 17 year old self is interesting. Thinking of a blog post now!

  30. Oh man I totally get it! I think about it alot lately with what I’m going through…..and sometimes it feels like in a glimpse of an eye it was your high school graduation or we all lived in Roxbury, it’s so wonderful and scary as hell at the same time!!!!!!!!!!

  31. This post is so relevant to what’s happening to me right now. I’m so sensitive to time and everything happening so fast – I have a huge lump in my throat and pit in my stomach, it hurts! But I’m excited for the adventures ahead at the same time. And a little guilty for allowing myself to feel excited. Anyways, I’m glad you becamea writer and your 5th grade teacher didn’t have to eat off her arm!

    1. Aw, I bet! If I were in your place I would feel everything. At once. I did leave the place I grew up – for California. So I was SO excited because.. California.. but also heartbroken. I was moving away from my parents, though, and you are moving towards yours. I think I’d prefer that!

  32. Throughout this entire post I keep saying “wow Tamara hasn’t changed at all, she looks like she did at her high school graduation”. I am so totally feeling your post right now. I attended my 10 year high school reunion and it was like a blast from the past. I know you’re going to make it big and you know it too. I want to be there when it happens. Here’s to lots of wonderful memories that still haven’t happened yet and an amazing summer. BTW you bought back great memories with that song.

  33. We are the same age. I’m loving this place with the piano in the tree. I think we need this place in Monterey! I get sentimental about lasts too, but I’m also guilty of rushing time…especially with my soon to be 2 year old. Poor dear. You are such a beauty! Even in high school!

  34. My oldest will graduate next year… and the following year will be my 20th reunion. It’s crazy because I can still totally relate to all the high school things and what he and his friends are experiencing. Mostly because that 20 years has gone by so so so fast!! I so wanted that song to be our prom song but they picked that Michael Jackson song “You are not alone” I was so irritated! 🙂

    1. And you’re a young mom! So it must seem like he’s going through things you haven’t gone through that long ago! And what a strange pick for a prom song!

  35. I can feel you! Leaving school is always, always hard for me. I’m always attached to the place, the people, and the feeling. It hurts to think that I can never go back to those old times again. But can we do?!

  36. Beautiful pictures. My 20th high school reunion was a lot harder to go to than my 25th. For the 20th I wasn’t on FB and didn’t know what to expect, not knowing what people were up to etc. By the 25th it was much more fun and relaxing. FB helps so stay in the loop (group) if you plan on going to your reunion, you’ll dread it less. Back to the pictures – you are that classic, “You haven’t changed a bit!”

  37. I’m really sentimental about time, too. Even more so now after having my son. It used to be about looking forward to my own milestones…now as my son has his, I reminisce a lot more. KG ends tomorrow for my son. Happy memories, happy future hopes…but all sentimental to me.

  38. wow people were really nice in your year book. I can’t let my mom ever see my yearbooks. LOL
    this one guy friend, he was such a character – he ran after me walking home and stopped me to sign my yearbook. he wanted to write something significant i.e. long, so he said – just lean over and I’ll use your back to steady the book. Okay whatever.. but then like, the hell? time is passing!!! he eventually is done closes the book and says read it at home or I’ll be embarrassed. And I’m thinking….. awwwww, poor thing has had a crush on me all this time! how sweet. So of course I run home, open the book and find the page and see……. A perfect replicate of The Scene of the Yearbook Signing Tradition. that was the actual title of the picture he drew of me bent over, and the street view and trees and the store across the way… and right at the bottom the biggest and most prominent: my ass.

    I do not miss high school.
    well, maybe a little. LOL

  39. Oh, man, Tamara… this one got me right in the feels. Yup, I totally used to do the same thing in terms of repeating “this is the last time I use this locker, see my friends before college, use this desk, have this teacher for literature,” etc. I imagine it’s difficult when you have kids and you want to let them roam free and become the highly sensitive amazing humans you’ve taught them to be without giving constant nudges, advice, suggestions? I would have a hard time with that myself.

    The summer does indeed rock. I hope you guys have the best one ever 🙂

  40. My takeaway from this post is that you haven’t aged. At all.
    I suggest you bottle your DNA and sell it for $39.95 (plus shipping & handling). You will be a millionaire before the end of the month. If you need me to be in charge of the manufacturing facility, I will take a meager 75% of all profits.

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