Dear Amy at 9,
We’ve been in Alberta a handful of days before our birthday and they have been interesting. I think the worst part about moving so close to our day of birth, at least at this age, is that even if we could have a birthday party… we wouldn’t know who to invite. This city and province are new to us.
We walk to school through a park by the same name of our school, it’s pretty much a straight line from our house, and on the way to the park is where one of our first friends live. If I am honest… I’m not really sure what happened to her. I know that by grade six we had other friends and I don’t remember her being around much… maybe she moved. Years from now we will get a random thought to Facebook her and she ends up having the same grad dress as one of best friends at that time – some weird fact for the day for you.
We’ll call her KT, and she has a unique family. This is also the first of our friends that really introduce us to the concept of death. We have encountered it with others in our lives, but being at her house and talking to her about her life is how we really experience how death can really effect a family for the first time. The death had taken before we had even moved to the province, but it seems like every decision her family makes is… carried… no… enacted… maybe… with this in mind. Every curfew, every action, every event, every timeline – all impacted.
We had a sleepover once where we were convinced that we were going to marry Backstreet Boys or N*Sync members… I can’t remember which ones exactly. There was something on the TV in her brother’s room, where we were sleeping since he was away and we didn’t want her little brother to bother us. Something knocked on the door, but there was no one there at all. Freaked us out to the point where I think we convinced ourselves that the blinds moved, and she told me that the West side was built on a graveyard.
I remember going to the video store in the strip mall in between our houses and renting video games with her. Playing them on her console because better games were available, like Pokemon Snap (which is still amazing). Eventually the store became “Video Jungle” which was weird… and then it closed. We fought over her chap sticks and CD. She had left them at our house and I couldn’t find them for the longest time. When I returned them, she claimed the disc was too scratched to play. Which doesn’t make any sense because we listened to them and then they were lost when she was packing them up – we didn’t keep them or use them because we didn’t know where they were.
She must have moved… because eventually we just stop hanging out and instead we make friends with a kid who shares the last name with our siblings but isn’t related to us. He likes to say “shit” a lot and it definitely changes how we feel about cuss words. It’s the cool thing – weird for a 9-year-old to think. We also meet Ham and CC and BK. There are others, and a few guys who catch our eyes, but I don’t remember missing KT too much because there was just so much going on. She was a good friend. Hold onto the memories with her, they were fun.
This is also the year that we get to go to Disneyland for the second time. It’s pretty interesting meeting B, who is our cousin through dating… but our age a cousin is a cousin. Nana comes with us and we get way too soaked from the Jurassic Park ride and have to buy shirts just so that we can get on the bus to go back to the hotel. It’s an interesting trip, but a lot of it you will need to experience yourself.