Crazy-ass family

You just can't make this stuff up

Thursday, March 30, 2006

My Friend Shannon

I met Shannon when I was six years old. My family had just moved from P.E.I. to Nova Scotia, and we had been through a lot. I was determined that my new life in Nova Scotia was going to be different. It was going to be great. My sister and I were thrilled to meet Shannon and Allyson - sisters our age and living very close to us. We came from different worlds - mine a bit broken and hers warm, safe and nourishing - but we had so much else in common that we were fast friends.

We grew up together. We went through so much together, and created so much together. When we were very young, we made up a game called "Spook," which was best played at night and involved one team of players trying to scare the crap out of the other team. It was soon famous in the neighborhood, though our parents frequently complained of all the screaming going on.

We talked about everything. We learned together. We fought sometimes. Sometimes we just didn't talk. As we grew older, we grew apart in some ways. Shannon had that enviable quality that I've always yearned for and have never been able to manage; she seemed to ooze self-confidence. Even when I knew she wasn't feeling confident, her demeanor said she was. She was difficult to faze. She was popular. Though we didn't see much of each other in school after a while, we remained friends at home.

Shannon's family was like a family to me, too. I always felt sisterly toward Allyson and still love her dearly. And her parents are the kind of people you instantly love. It's impossible to feel uncomfortable around them. They made my sister and I (and later Jim) part of their family.

We went through so much together...it's impossible to describe it all. But when I think of my childhood, she is there, in so many important ways. I didn't always understand her...sometimes I felt like she wouldn't let me in...that I didn't really know her. Most times, though, I felt like I knew her better than anyone. And she knew me. We laughed so much together...and though she was one of the popular kids, I never felt that I had to pretend to be something I wasn't around her. I was me, and that was cool.

Shannon, thank you. Thank you for teaching me so much about life and love and relationships. Thank you for letting me be part of your family. Thank you for knowing Jim and I were meant for each other, and for letting me cry on your shoulder when he wasn't so sure.

Thank you for playing junk poker with me.

Thank you for inspiring me to play my flute better, even today.

Thank you for playing Playboy Barbies with me, and laughing your ass off the entire time.

Thank you for being unselfish and honest.

I love you!

On Shannon's birthday, ten days ago, she gave birth to a beautiful baby girl. She became a mother, and something inside me clicked...one more piece of the puzzle of life sliding into place. I am so happy for Shannon, and for her husband and her family. And I love little Jessica as if she were my own niece.

I guess there's no denying it now, huh Shan?

We've grown up.

Our days of Spook are over, and now we'll be the ones complaining when our kids are running around like maniacs and screaming their heads off.

But maybe this parenthood thing is one more thing we can go through together, even at a distance.

4 Comments:

At 7:47 PM, Blogger mama_tulip said...

How fortunate you are that you have a friend like that, and that she has a friend like you. I can feel from your words the kind of love you have for her and her family. I LMAO at Playboy Barbies. Thanks for sharing Shannon with us. ;)

 
At 7:59 AM, Anonymous Mommy of 3 said...

Beautiful post. Makes me think of my childhood friends; some I still have. We are all moms now, too. It's surreal in so many ways.

 
At 11:12 PM, Blogger s@bd said...

love you for writing that. kind of wish i were THAT Shannon ...

 
At 2:22 PM, Blogger The Mater said...

A lovely tribute to a special friend. I'm glad that you continue to be in each other's lives and now there's a little estrogen bubble to give you your pink fix :>)

 

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