Tuesday, 16 December 2008
Childhood Friends: Tomboy
In the mid-1960s, two-parent families were the absolute norm in our little one-horse prairie town. Tomboy was the only kid I knew who lived in a single-parent family. Her Mom was a free-spirited artiste who did wild things that no one else did, like paint murals and pierce her children's ears (even the baby). The family lived in our town for a couple of years and then moved on again, when Mom found a new man.
Tomboy was the most wonderful girl I knew. She taught me how to jump off the roof of the back shed and how to cadge free chocolate milk from the creamery. We both adored Anne of Green Gables and spent countless hours acting out that book's adventures. Tomboy was Anne and I was Diana. My crush on Tomboy was such that I willingly assumed the second banana role, something I would never have done for anyone else. In our own private Avonlea, there was no Gilbert Blythe. We never missed him. We kindred spirits spent our time at the Lake of Shining Waters (which appeared to everyone else to be a culvert on the cemetery road).
When Tomboy moved away, she and I swore eternal friendship and gave each other a lock of our hair. I kept hers in my Sunday School Bible. We were faithful pen-pals for many years. Tomboy remained a boyish girl until she graduated from high school. Then, completely out of the blue, she became a born-again Christian and a total femme. She married shortly thereafter and I never heard from her again.