I went to a Catholic school, St. Hugo, in the suburbs from Kindergarten to 8th grade. At the time, I wasn't happy. Sure I had friends, but my skin was itching to get out of there. I couldn't wait to get away from it all, break free from that bubble. I was sick of everything- the same classmates for so many years, the hot dogs that sometimes bounced, the girls who kicked me out of the popular group, and those darn plaid uniforms.
So now, 12 years after I graduated from there, it's a little strange for me to tell you all how much I adore that place. Somehow I got sucked into staying connected to the school.
Probably has something to do with the fact that my mom teaches there. But besides that, it's the people. I babysat countless families from that school. I grew close to a lot of parents and kids and over the years I have watched kids grow up. The kids who are seniors in my youth group now were in kindergarten when I was in 8th grade. Now THAT, my friends, is crazy. Bananas. Now they are 17 and headed off to college in a few months. And I've watched, from afar, as they got to this point. I could not be more proud of them, and I know that they don't know this now, but that school helped them to get this far.
Now that I'm 25, I have learned how special that place was. That it was an HONOR to be going to school with the same kids for 9 years, because those kids were pretty cool. That I was taught faith and spirituality through books and classes and by example from our amazing teachers. That I was able to express my faith and go to church every single week. That I was prepped for high school through the tough classes. But most importantly, that I was given the opportunity to meet such amazing people through the years. That community is special. We care about one another, deeply, even the ones we haven't seen in years. It is evident to me in the way people greet each other, the way they go above and beyond to support someone in need. It's something that cannot be explained unless you are a part of it. That plaid uniform gave me such headaches as a kid...I hated wearing it. But now, I smile when I see the kids wearing it, and one day I hope to dress my kids in it as I drop them off at that school. I am a proud alumnae, and I never thought I could say that. I have recently realized that part of my duty as an alumnae is to continue supporting the school. I support my high school, why not my elementary school too? I can't give much, and I already give time by leading youth group, but I can spread the word, and show my support, and hope that others get involved as well. I want to help other alumnae see how lucky we were to be students there. To be part of that family.
I know this is kind of a random post, but I have just been thinking about all of the beautiful people that have come into my life through that Hugo connection, and I feel very blessed.