Tuesday, January 15, 2013

A love letter to a Mum


I saw the moving truck as I walked down the street to do some work at a local cafe. I can't believe the big day is finally here.  You must be so relieved and excited that all the preparation, to do lists, contracts, home buying and selling, going away parties and good bye conversations are almost done.

Your new life in an amazing new town is about to begin! Well, at least the unpacking is about to begin.  You're no fool. You know what lies ahead. I am in love with the fact you elected to "Choose your Own Adventure". It is such a testament to the commitment you have to your values - family, economic and environmental. I love that you know that you haven't chosen the easy road but you have chosen the longer, richer and more adventurous road.

Our path to friendship has not been without it's potholes but none of the paths to my lasting love affairs are.  There are few people in this world of Facebook, Twitter and passing fads that I find myself driving through the potholes to the bike lane on the other side for. So, I'm glad that quietly, sometimes awkwardly we seem to have done this together.

I'm sure my loud brash, overasking, overextending loutish personality has been painful and sometimes off-putting to your thoughtful, deliberate, resolute, independent and deeply private sensibilities. Yet, here we are. Moving day and still friends.

As I've demonstrated in the past, I can be brutally pragmatic around life change and upheaval. I could say a lot of dismissive things about how I'm not sad because we'll be in touch over Skype, email, and that we'll be visiting at the latest in August when I ride to Montreal and maybe the earliest at Winterlude in Ottawa.  We live in the future after all.

The reality is my skin is super thin and I'm wet eyed and sloppy because of these reasons:

I'm going to really miss your quiet efficiency, open mindedness and thoughtful language.
I'm going to miss your family's commitment to pacifism and environmentalism.
I'm going to miss your caustic sense of humour.
I'm really going to miss your ability to get Fenner to love beans and rice.
I'm going to miss watching you quietly and effectively tell people (myself included, don't think I didn't notice) to fuck off and die, in of course, your words, not mine.
I'm going to miss ignoring you when you tell me to fuck off and die because you used your words not mine :)
I'm going to miss parenting amazing children with you around.
I'll miss trying to torture Rob in the morning by saying 'Good morning!" and then be perversely flattered and happy when he responds and one ups me by asking me how I am...
I'll miss being opposites at The Rail Garden committee meeting and finding the perfect plan in between our world views.
I'll miss our ability to drink all the beer and wine in the house in a single sitting once in awhile (but I'm pretty sure Jason won't miss that...)
I'll miss the network you have in the neighbourhood and how despite your proclaimed introvertedness you bring us all closer together.
I'll miss having all sorts of access to music through our friendship.

I am especially going to miss the beauty that is watching our girls be together. The respect, care and kindness that passes between them while they play together or in parallel is a song that puts my heart at rest.

As Fenner starts to build the protective walls that set the boundaries with the world around her, their relationship becomes more startling.  The respect they have for each others' boundaries and the comfort they have with each other puts some of my relationships to shame.

I know that, like all parents, we go by the grace of God or the Fates or a Higher Power and we can only give the best of ourselves to help our girls navigate the rough waters of growing up but this relationship is one of many barometers that I use to check in on how I'm doing.  As I hear them find conflict then come to a common solution together with no adult intervention, I measure our progress...on the growth chart of parenthood.

I know that you and I aren't done this crazy walk yet. I look forward to seeing how we all choose our next adventure and what our family love affair will lead to. This is going to be an amazing adventure for you and your family and we will miss having you around but I am so excited about the adventures our girls will go on when we visit. 

So, you'll find my Skype handle and our mailing address in your email folder and, if Canada Post, allows, a little piece of love in your mailbox at your new home.

See you soon Neighbour.


PS: I bet this public display of affection made you cringe. It's the high cost of the love of an extrovert, frankly, it's kind of appropriate now that I think about it.


Amanda said...

Jen, that was fantastic. I'm on the verge of a tear. How nice to know that some friends are able to say it out loud. I'm sure she will take it in her heart with her to lean on when the day is long. kudos. And to 'her'- best to you and your new road. It will be a good one because you chose to go there.

Liz said...

um, amazing! le sigh, you are so good with words and she is so deserving of those words!

JenHendriks said...

'a tear'!!! I strive to wring water from a stone Amanda. Hahaha. That made me laugh

Jennifer R said...

Poor person moving, big shoes to fill. Wish I were your neighbor.

Helga said...

thank you !

JenHendriks said...

Thanks Helga - is this my friend from Aurora? I miss you too.