I went to a reception this afternoon for high school seniors who attended the elementary school where I taught. I had this group of kids when they were in fifth grade.

Wow! At first I was amazed at how grown-up they were. They’re driving. They have iPhones. The girls are wearing make-up and designer jeans. The boys are shaving.

But the more I talked with them, the more I asked about their high school years and their plans for college, the more I realized they’re still the same kids.

They have the same mannerisms they had back when they were in fifth grade. Sweet Jesslyn is still so shy she turns her head when she’s talking with you. Kody still has a quiet, calm manner about him. And Brandon, the kid who broke his arm falling off the monkey bars, still has serious energy to spare.

It was reassuring in an odd sort of way. We all grow up. We all move on. But the essence of who we are stays with us.

Let’s talk: Have you attended a reunion lately? What was your impression of people you hadn’t seen in a while?

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