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Life lessons from older and wiser friends. Part II

2004-03-26 - 9:58 a.m.

This is a continuation of yesterday’s entry so you might want to read that one first. I’m just saying. Also, it was 6 degrees above freezing today so I carried my jacket walked to work in short sleeves. Later it’s going up another 10 degrees. Woo hoo! Even if it will be raining, who cares? Spring! Now back to our regularly scheduled entry...

A few months after I moved back to Ottawa, Sherry and Trevor came up for a visit. We were sitting in the living room catching up when Sherry comes out with,

“Trevor has some news.” I look at Trevor, who looks kind of blank.

“Oh?” I cock an eyebrow at him. Sherry continues,

“He lost his virginity.”

“Really?” I am struggling to look cool and not let my eyes pop out of my head. “Uh, congratulations?”

Now just to get something straight, I could not have imagined sharing that sort of detail with my mother when I was Trevor’s age (at the time, he was 17). And I have to say, had she dropped that into casual conversation with her friends, in my presence, I would have died and it probably would have elicited a typical scandalized teenage “Mo-om!” accompanied by a mortified look. In fact, I managed to successfully hide the fact I was menstruating for a full year in my early teens, because I absolutely dreaded, nay, lived in mortal fear of, my mother announcing the advent of such a personal thing to my dad, right in front of the rest of the family (as she had for my sister). I was sure that if that happened I would die right on the spot. Hey, when you’re 14, these things are life-and-death! But back to Sherry and Trevor…

Later that weekend when Trevor was off doing some exploring Sherry thanked me for my cool-headed reaction to the news of Trevor’s de-flowering.

“I want to show him that he can tell me these things and that I’ll be cool about it and treat it like it’s not a big deal. If he comes to me with this sort of news at this stage in his life and I don’t freak out, he’ll see that I can accept the fact that he’s going through the stuff that everyone goes through as they grow up. Then if he gets into some sort of trouble or something much more serious happens, like getting a girl pregnant or experimenting with drugs or something, he’ll know that he can come to me about that and that I’ll be supportive of him.

The truth is, I actually overheard him having a serious conversation on the phone with his Big Brother a couple of days before he told me and his Big Brother then gave me the heads up later that night, so I had time to prepare myself. I actually did freak out a bit, but I had the chance to do so in private so by the time Trevor told me I was over the freaking out and had had a chance to figure out how I should react.”

Sherry still lives in that town and I haven’t had a chance to see her in awhile. Since our last face-to-face visit she has quit her job with the Jesuits, started two business, sold her place in Toronto, and bought a townhouse. Trevor has started traveling on his own and has been to many exotic locales such as Thailand and India. He still tells his mom everything and she jokes about living vicariously through him. They received an invitation to my wedding last summer, along with a note saying I’d love to have them up another weekend if they preferred since we wouldn’t have a lot of chance to catch up in all the hubbub. Maybe they’ll make it up this summer. In the meantime, I’m really glad to count a woman I’ve learned so much from among my friends.

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