My friend Jen..

Well, I kinda doubt Jen and I are going to go sailing off a southwest bluff in a convertible, but if Brad Pitt (especially a young one) wanders in our direction….

Jen is someone I met because she was friends with people who were friends of Pam’s…. I’ve known her since we were about 15 or so… yea, that long!

She’s one of those awesome peeps who, even though you don’t see them all the time, can pick up a conversation and a friendship where it left off.  We’re like the best version of siblings — we tease, talk, maybe cry a little and are always looking out for each other.  We can talk about life’s hard stuff with kindness and compassion — it’s probably the thing I love most about our friendship.

On Sunday Jen and I spent the afternoon on her deck.  It was the perfect place to get caught up on what’s been going down with the other — and the view was spectacular.  We talked about our life changes, we talked about our similar experiences — and our differences — and we remembered why we like to hang out together.

One of the interesting contrasts between Jen and I comes in the area of formal education — I’m 1 year post-Ph.D and she’s in her second year at a CC.  Oddly enough, a CC whose president used to be my dean’s boss.. small world, aint it?  She gives me the student’s perspective and I help her sort out the maze that is modern higher ed.  She’s kicking-butt and taking names in college and I’m so, so, so proud of her!

On the other side of the coin, Jen has raised a fantastic 17 year-old son — so she had a lot of information about options for Max, should he ever decide to change sports, get into Boy Scouts etc.. Jen’s son is a really good swimmer, so she knows how to work that system.  She also knows all about youth hockey, learning to sail and all kinds of other opportunities for Max to try things out.  All of that is up to Max’s parents, but if they need her expertise I know who to call.

It seems that Jen has had a part to play in lots of areas of my life — The first ever private Facebook message I sent to Andy was asking him if he wanted to date Jen… They didn’t connect, but Andy and I did.  Jen was the first person to dub him my “BFF” — She’s sharp like that.

Jen is also special to me because she and Pam were close.  She misses Pam like I do — really, the three of us were like sisters for several years growing up.  We’d spat and make-up — we’d hang out, look out for one another and call it like we saw it concerning boys, clothes and behavior…

Jen has lots of biological siblings — I’ve lost my only one — but Jen and I are sisters from other parents and that’s just the way things are going to be until we’re old(er).

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