Pelham kids are family

Published 8:54 am Friday, June 14, 2013

Pelham kids and their expanded circle of friends celebrate together in Pelham. (Contributed)

Pelham kids and their expanded circle of friends celebrate together in Pelham. (Contributed)

By CONNIE NOLEN / Community Columnist

At my daughter’s wedding, I realized that much of the dance floor consisted of my daughter’s PHS buddies. Five of her seven bridesmaids were Pelham High School girls. Even one boy who was a college friend of the groom’s was a PHS grad.

I’ve always told my kids that family shows up—even when it’s inconvenient or exhausting. Family shows up. What I realized this past weekend is that PHS kids are family.

These wedding dancers are kids who show up. They were kids who showed up when they were in high school and they have shown up since they graduated. In high school, they were band kids who went to baseball games and theater productions. They were athletes who went to plays and band concerts. They were golfers and baseball players who were boisterous basketball fans. They were drum majors, color guard girls and cheerleaders who went to dance competitions. They were theater kids who also played sports and dancers who performed in musicals.

These PHS kids showed up for the wedding ceremony, cake and dancing, but they’ve also shown up for each other when it mattered and it wasn’t fun. They’ve shown up at hospitals and at funerals. They’ve shown up for moving and work days and planning sessions. They’ve shown up in court rooms and at City Council meetings. They’ve shown up at fund raisers, at disaster relief efforts and for clean up days. They’ve shown up even when adults tried to minimize their friendships and question their loyalty.

In Pelham, we’ve been blessed with kids who know that when one group does well, everyone wins because that success builds Pelham’s positive image. Watching these kids turned adults with careers and degrees, knowing the quality of their expanded circle of friends and witnessing the devotion of both old and new friends to one another is humbling and inspiring.

After the dancing and departure of the bride and groom, PHS kids and our family helped clean up and load cars. Wedding festivities have reminded me how richly blessed we are with family—both old and new.