We were parked beside his high school earlier this week; now his former high school. It wouldn’t be so bad if his leaving high school only signified the passage of five years of his life as a boy and a student, but it also means I’ve aged five years.
He’s finished high school, he’s as tall as I am and he’s nearly got his driver’s license. Curse the speed of life!
Like his mother, he’s not really a muser, nevertheless, as we sat in the car, I tortured him with questions. His fondest memories are attached to Secondary Four. He says what he’ll remember most are his friends. Through high school, he would come home with lively tales of the nutty antics of his buddies and classmates. He described the quality of his teachers through high school as “random”; pointing-out he was as likely to get an under-appreciated gem, as a lump of coal. He consistently made honor roll.
He’s a great athlete and has been from a young age. Where athletic attributes are concerned, Susan and I like to say he got the best of both of us. Truth be told, Susan graduated high school with the school board’s David Baillie Award for Female Athlete of the Year, something that, at sixteen, I could have only dreamt about.
While Tristan was always one of first to be chosen by peers for teams, I was always one of the last, if I was chosen at all! He would always be on the court for the final, crucial minutes of a game, while I would always be on the bench. Some things never change - sigh.
Just as it has always saved me, music saved me in high school. My first year of high school, I was a shrimpy, twelve year old quasi-bookworm with orthopedic shoes and a briefcase in tow.
Drums lifted me above the masses. By grade nine, I was signing autographs after school concerts and students would gather in the music room at lunch to watch the drum battles I had with classmate, Allan Schlaer. Even I would enjoy watching Allan play the solo from Edgar Winter’s “Frankenstein”.
As teachers go, I, like Tristan, had dazzling gems and outright lumps. My memories of high school aren’t so fond that I’ve ever felt compelled to attend reunions, but, hey, I survived.
Fortunately, Tristan did better than that.