I think we (40-somethings etc.) are in a rare, wonderful group. We are the adults who can still remember what it's like to grow up NOT knowing what happened to Mary Judd from 5th grade, or Becky from kindergarten.
And then we DID.
We have been on both sides of the divide. Remember fantasizing about
how gorgeous our first crush might have grown up to be? Or how ugly
that snotty girl might be? And having it still be fantasy with no real
(easy) way to confirm?
And now, there's so little unknown. My
memories of Ricky Martinez still show him as a 9 year old boy who
usually wore shiny dress shoes and would ride down the big metal slide
on the soles of those slippery shoes, then LEAP into the air at the last
moment. But if I wanted to, I could look him up and that memory would
be covered by an image of (probably) a chubby, balding middle-aged man
with three daughters.
I kind of like my first memory of him better.
no question that to have old friendships rekindled is a wonderful
thing. But there's also a kind of uncomfortable 'tetheredness' when the
mystique of childhood and all the stories and myths and memories are
open for confirmation or rebuttal. Did I really hit Clint Vestal on the
forehead with a rock that day? And did he really fall flat on his back
like I remember? What if I discover that after 38 years of thinking so,
I discover that I missed? And that he tripped on his shoelace?
There was a sweetness in knowing that you'd never know.