Ben and I both took half days on Friday in order to drive over to Illinois and make it to DHS in time for the pre-football game tour and potluck. This weekend was Dunlap's Homecoming (thus why we did the reunion this weekend), and Ben and I managed to get stuck in traffic for about 20 minutes while within sight of the high school as the annual parade was ending. Those who are familiar with Dunlap will appreciate the irony of this situation, as this is probably the one time of the whole year that actually generates a "traffic jam" in the town that doesn't even have stoplights.
At any rate, we eventually made it to the high school, where I was immediately thrown for a loop by the fact that what used to be the front entry hallway is now blocked by a large wall. We meandered through the newly constructed hallways until we found the commons (which is what other schools call a cafeteria), and we were able to take our bearings from there. As Derek and Damon said, the tour itself was not nostalgic as we certainly never attended that high school. There have been so many additions in the past 10 years that most of the school is unrecognizable to us old alumni. Only the football field itself felt nostalgic. That hasn't changed much, although I think the football team has won more games so far this season than they did in our entire high school careers combined.
I thought the best part of the Friday night portion of the reunion was getting to see all my former classmates' kids. Some of them have up to 3 kids, which I guess shouldn't be all that shocking to me since we're about to have our second, but was really surreal to see all the same.
It was so cute to see the little (and some big) kids running all over the place and rather amusing to see my former classmates turned parents. It was weird to realize that we're all grownups now. Some of the people that I thought were big screwups in high school are now holding down good jobs, raising children, attending medical school, etc. Wow.
My stay at the Friday reunion was rather short, however. Bryn had developed a nasty cough/cold combo during the week, and her snuffliness kept her awake for the entire car ride to Peoria. So she didn't feel well AND she hadn't taken a nap, which is the perfect combination for the creation of Fussy Baby. We tried to go into the stands and watch the football game, but we ended up sitting right behind the student section. Now, this was problematic for a few reasons. For one, all the students stand for the entire game, so if we wanted to see anything, we, too, had to stand on the bleachers. This was a precarious enough position for the pregnant lady and the not-quite-2 year old, and it became even more so when we discovered that the current DHS students take ANY excuse to jump up and down wildly to shake the bleachers (which are possibly the only thing at the whole school that have not been replaced since my time there). This led to a terrified Bryn burrowing into my shoulder and crying, while I sat down and clutched my seat for dear life and her yet-unborn sister kicked wildly in protest. Because of all of this, we left at the end of the first quarter, which was especially disappointing because we didn't even get to see the band's halftime show--which, as we all know, is the real reason for attending football games at all.
I hear that the rest of my former classmates had a good time at the game and at Kelleher's downtown afterwards, but Ben and I went to Dad's house, put our fussy baby down to sleep, and promptly fell fast asleep ourselves. Bryn slept in on Saturday morning but then spent the rest of the morning whining and crying pitifully. She was awake for all of two hours before she fell asleep on the five-minute car ride from Dad's house to Mom's--yet somehow she couldn't fall asleep during the 4-hour ride the night before?? Anyway, we stuck her in the crib at Mom's house, thinking this would be a 20-minute power nap or something. 3+ hours later, she finally woke up and promptly resumed her crying. We had made plans to meet some of my friends at local park, which we had thought would be fun for the kids. But while Bryn usually loves slides and swings (both of which she calls "whee!"), she was having none of it that day. She spent our entire trip to the park crying on my chest, so we cut the visit short and returned to Dad's house, where she was somewhat placated by watching the "Baby's First Signs" video we have borrowed from Christopher.
Bryn spent Saturday night with an adoring Grandpa and Grandma while Ben and I attended the DHS '97 reception downtown. This was definitely the highlight of my weekend, partially because it did not include a crying baby and partially because it actually allowed me to get caught up with my friends and former classmates. It was absolutely wonderful to see my friends, and it wasn't long before we all started planning our own reunion weekend for hopefully sometime in the spring. Life, jobs, kids, etc. all prevent us from getting together as often as we used to, but somehow, when we do see each other, it's like no time has passed at all and we all just pick up right where we left off. While many of our former classmates elected to visit a local bar following the reception, my friends decided to hit up Old Chicago for some pizza, since the appetizers at the reception had been far from filling. All told, it was nearly 1:00 by the time Ben and I finally got back to Dad's house, which is 2:00 our time and darn close to Ben's typically wake-up call for Wizo work. We were happy to sleep in a bit in the morning!
The down side to this whole visit became apparent on Sunday morning, when Bryn began crying pitifully as soon as she became conscious. We decided to scrap our Sunday plans and head straight home. She cried the whole way back, which led Ben and I to wonder if we had somehow become stuck in a time warp or if the trip from Peoria to Indy was always that long. The unconsolable crying, coupled with runny nose and coughing, continued all night. Ben ended up taking today off work, as Bryn was too sick to send to Cathy's house. He managed to get her in at the doctor, where we learned that her cold had morphed into bronchitis. Oops--bad Mommy and Daddy for dragging her out of town in such a condition!! On the up side, she was feeling much better after getting some medicine in her and taking a 5+ (wow) hour nap this afternoon, and she was even playing like her old self by this evening. Thank goodness!
Here are a few pictures of the reunion for those who you former DHS-ers who weren't able to make it:
DHS Class of 1997 Alumni
Clan reunion: Caroline, Chuck, Maria, Corey, me, and Damon
Clan friends and significant others: Maria and Jason, Caroline and Cosmos, Crissy and Chuck, Liz and Corey, me and Ben, and Damon