The time has come for my oldest son to choose a high school. So last night we went to a high school open house at Queen Elizabeth, which happens to be the school I graduated from. We moved to Edmonton when I was in the middle of grade 12, so I actually was only there for one semester, to pick up enough credits to graduate. Therefore, I don't feel any sentimental attachment to it or anything. I was very shy, made no lasting friendships while I was there, and have never gone to any reunions. I didn't even go to the grad. I have been in the building a few times in the last couple of years for taekwondo tournaments, etc. and felt totally detached from it.
So it was rather odd to walk into that school last night and suddenly be 17 again. Maybe it was because the halls were filled with kids. But I felt like the old lady in the Titanic movie looking at the wreck on the submarine cam. We'd turn a corner and suddenly things would fill my vision, remembering something that happened there. The emotional turmoil that was me that year even came back a bit. I had just moved to the big city from a small town, was in a new school which was five times as big as my old one, where I knew nobody except a cousin who was only in grade 10 and therefore our paths seldom crossed. My parents had only split up a few months before as well, so that was a big adjustment. There was one staircase that was even hard for me to walk down, because I remembered when I went there it was always occupied by a bunch of guys who would make crude comments about any girl who walked through them. I almost felt their presence mocking me as I followed my son down the stairs.
We have another open house to go to and then he will decide which school he wants. Of course it will also depend on where all his friends go. If he does pick 'Queen E' so be it - I'm sure if I ever have to go there again it won't be as weird as last night was.