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The things I didn’t know when I was 15

When I was 15, I didn’t have an inkling of what my future would be like. In fact, I don’t ever really recall envisioning it at all. I never dreamed of a future marriage, a life as a mother, or a particular career. 

And it was at this time that I met a girl named Jackie. I had signed up for a drama class. You might think that a girl with the biggest hair known to man might stand out, but not in this class. Jackie blended in nicely with all these characters.

Later, in grade 13 (remember there used to be a grade 13?), Jackie and I ended up spending a great deal of time together. I only had two courses left to meet my requirements, so I hadn’t bothered to sign up for any others. This left me with more time out of school than in school, and Jackie seemed to be in the same boat. We worked our retail jobs, watched soap operas and generally killed time in enjoyable ways. It was not until the end of the year that Jackie realized I was not skipping classes and that I realized that she did not have spares. So Jackie went to grade 14, and I left town.

Jackie came to visit me for a weekend at my out-of-town university. She was living at home with her parents, where a fridge held food, not just a bottle of ketchup. There were a few other bits of culture shock encountered, and she did not come back for a return visit. But we kept in touch nonetheless. Especially during summers when I would come home to work.

Then she left to go to school out-of-town. This kind of cycle continued for years. Where one of us was in town, and one of us was not. But somehow, for some reason, we always kept in touch.

I didn’t know when I was 15 that Jackie would always be in my life. That when the going gets its toughest, she would be there. That she would marry a friend of my husband’s. That we would be honorary “aunties” to each others’ children.

I’m all soppy and joyful, so I hope you’ll join me in welcoming my beautiful new nephew Benjamin Harry into the world:


What things didn’t you know when you were 15? Do you have any lovely, tearful, soppy things to share. Let’s hear’em!


  1. Jacqueline says:

    Even on a good day a wonderful sentiment like this would make me cry….now add postpartum! Eeeks.

    Thank you for your wonderful note.

    Pardon me as I am about to be a little cliche….

    Although we never married the intended “old rich guy” we are rich with love from our families, proud of our successes and still appreciate “good friends, good times (taco dip)” moments. (did i put the quotations in the right spot?)

    Here’s to 40 more years of great memories!


  2. congrats jackie! beautiful baby =)

  3. Teary eyed over here.
    Welcome, little Benjamin.

  4. This isn’t soppy, but never in my wildest dreams did I expect to be working my whole life. I don’t know why — I guess I just thought that was just something men did.

  5. Congrats to her on the new addition…

    Well, when I was 15 I knew EVERYTHING…

    I think I thought I’d suddenly arrive at adulthood. There would be a fanfare or something. “here you are Nat, you are an adult.” Instead it just sort of crept up on me…

    I also didn’t realize Michael Jackson was weird, and I should have hedged my bets on Bruce… just saying.

  6. When I was 15 my guy friend was dating a girl that I couldn’t stand.
    I thought she was obnoxious, annoying and had an attitude like nothing else.

    Little did I know that by that time the next year we would actually be friends.

    Never did I imagine that 9 years later we would be raising our children together – with birthdays just days apart and I would be standing in her wedding next year.

    Little did I know that I would lose touch with all of the people I thought I would be friends forever with and that the one girl I didn’t think I could ever be friends with would be the ONE friend that has remained over the years.

    If I’d known all that way back then I wouldn’t have wasted so much time *not* being friends with her.
    I would have appreciated it more :)

  7. Cathy P says:

    Things I didn’t know:

    Being a mom is the hardest job in the universe and gives the smallest most beautiful rewards balanced by the smallest most heartfelt upsets

    The biggest pains about kids going to school are
    1) the bus system
    2) school activities get sprung on you with one weeks notice which makes mom work/life balance challenging

    Time is precious, I wish I didn’t sleep so much in high school!

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