March 8, 2011

a guest post [milestones]

Drumroll please...

Today I am a guest poster. In my (sort of secret) quest to become a legit member of the world of bloggerdom, this feels like a big deal. Really it's just a post that could easily be found here being found somewhere else, but I don't know, it feels exciting.

Head over to my great friend Sarah Ann Noel's brilliant blog - check out some of her beautiful writing as well as pictures of her beautiful new baby, Iris Ann! Sarah has a way with words unlike many people I know, plus she is a great friend and I have no doubt she's already a wonderful mama. I am thankful to have her in my real life as well as my blog life!
It should come as no surprise that I knew I liked Sarah almost immediately.

Oh, and I guess while you're there, 
read my guest post about my against-all-odds first best friend

I have included a visual aid for your viewing pleasure.

please take a moment to soak in the gawky awkwardness of the picture on the lefthand side.

A few final thoughts: A big congratulations to Ryan, first of all, on his recent engagement! Hard to believe we are this old. A very special thanks to my first best friend for giving me permission to write about him and the magical story of our first meeting. Thank you for your friendship. And for walking me to the bus stop every morning. 

here it is:

This is the story of the first time I met my childhood best friend. And about how before I had even learned his name I burst into tears, turned around, and quite literally fled in terror.

I spent the better part of my childhood standing at the very edge of the grass [I wasn't allowed to leave my yard] begging anyone within earshot to come over and play with me. Catalina Way was a veritable smorgasbord of playmates–even creepy Jeremy would occasionally look up from whatever insect he was dissecting that day and respond if I beckoned him. 

When I was about 5, a new family moved in one cul-de-sac over. Here is how the story goes: the new kid showed up in my backyard with the Dixon sisters one day. (In my defense, to preface: at present, Ryan is 6’8”. He was an extremely tall child. And I was 5. Give me a break.) The way it is explained to me, I saw two things and two things only: he was a boy, and he was a giant, and I was not ok with either. Utilizing my most theatric theatrics, I turned around and ran inside, sobbing, terrified.

Honestly, I’m not sure I’ve changed that much since then. I think if it were socially acceptable, when faced with new people (probably especially new big scary boys), I would just run. And as a brilliant friend once asked: aren’t we all just kids who got old? Even when we were kids, relationships required risk. And we’re still scared. We’re still vulnerable. Maybe by now we’ve even risked and we know for a fact how much it hurts to be hurt. Scary people invade our swingsets every day and in very mature, grown up looking ways, we head for the hills. I wonder what and who we miss out on because of it.

Back to 1990. Somehow, my parents convinced me that my life was not in imminent danger, and I reluctantly tippy-toed my way back outside to give the giant boy a chance. Inexplicably and against all odds, Ryan and I were almost immediately inseparable. Every summer day when the garage door went up, Ryan was on the driveway waiting for me. When my mom had to go back to work, I ate breakfast at his kitchen table every morning before school. He walked me to the bus stop every day, and I collected X-Men cards for about a year just because Ryan told me that was cool. While I will never know for sure why he scared me so very much at the outset, what I do know with absolute certainty is that I adored that little giant. 

When I met Ryan I was nothing short of terrified. And honestly, he probably should have thought I was nuts and fled himself. (But he was 5. And I did have a really killer swingset. Give him a break.) But we both took a risk that day–I went back outside and he decided to give the deranged screaming girl a chance–and because of it, for the entirety of my time on Catalina Way, that boy was my very best friend. Because of it, I learned about love. The thing is–and this is the catch – I wasn’t wrong about the risk. In fourth grade Ryan got made fun of for having a “girl-friend” and wouldn't sit by me on the bus anymore. It may have been my first little glimpse of heartbreak. We aren’t wrong to be scared, but risking it is so worth the gift of loving and being loved.

I am so glad I didn’t stay inside. If you find yourself fleeing, give yourself a pep talk and go back to your swingset.  

People are worth loving. Even scary giant boys.


sarahannnoel said...

I love those pics from my engagement party! Such a fun night! :)

So glad to have you on my blog today, friend!

Anonymous said...

Hi Megan! Okay, so what a weird world of connections!! I just read your guest post on Sarah's blog (I know Sarah from college). I *adored* your post and thought "I need to check out this girl's blog!" ... Would you believe it if I told you I went to high school with Ryan?

Small. World.