Bev and I grew up on the same street, about five houses apart. She was about nine months younger than I, but born in a different year, so we were a grade apart at school. She, my sister (who was a grade younger than Bev) and I spent a lot of time together as young kids. We were always at her place, or she was at ours; we played in her backyard and she in ours; we planned neighbourhood carnivals together; I got the long, permanent (albeit faint) scar on my cheek in her back yard when my cheek hit the nail in her father's partially-built carport; we ate lunch at each other's homes (her mom made the greatest, fanciest little rolled-up peanut butter and tuna sandwiches for us little girls!); went to the same school; played with the same kids on our street; dealt with the same bullies; you get the idea.
When I was ten years old, we moved to a different part of the city and, over the course of a few years, Bev and I gradually lost touch. Our moms, however, maintained occasional contact, and when Bev's mom died several years ago, my mom started getting together with Bev a few times a year. So I've heard tidbits about Bev's life from time to time, including about her marriage a few years back and the two children who've been born to her since; I also knew that she still lives in the same house that she grew up in, on my old street!
Around three months ago, my folks invited Geoff and me out for dinner with Bev and her husband. I admit that I was a bit nervous - I hadn't seen Bev in something like thirty years! All of my usual 'what will she think of me' anxieties crept over me. In addition, to be honest, I wasn't sure that I was even really interested in seeing her again; I have a full life, enough friends, not a lot of time. Besides, what would we possibly have in common after so long a time, I wondered.
Dinner turned out to be pretty good. Though the decades had passed, I think I would have recognized Bev anywhere - she looked pretty much exactly the same. She was also still the charming, funny, direct and outspoken, person that I remembered...and still with a great head of hair! It took me right back to my childhood, in a really nice way. There's an ease about meeting some of the people from our past, people that we felt a particular connectedness with at one time; people who know where we come from, who our parents are, how we fit into our environments.
Yesterday, at the invite of my mom, I joined my her and Bev for a lunch out - this time, our kids got to meet each other, too; her older child, S, is a five-year-old girl and she and Matthew got along great. The place where we ate lunch is very kid friendly and so they were able to run and play...and play and run some more. Watching them, I couldn't help but wonder if that's how Bev and I used to look at their age: a year apart; talking and laughing while running around and scheming together. Though we live in different neighbourhoods now, and though we live twenty minutes instead of twenty seconds apart, maybe there's some link to be found between the generations.
* Thanks for the comment, Bonnie...and welcome to my blog!!