25 years ago I was four turning five. I was pretty excited about this big birthday, as it was my first birthday while I was in school. I tended to wear my long hair in two pig tails as I liked how they bounced and how my curls would make them form two big fat ringlets. I was in kindergarten at Manchester Public School in Ms. Mackenzie’s class. I was also enrolled in learn to skate with the Cambridge Ringette Association with other kiddies. I caught on quickly and was a true tomboy. I loved building things and climbing things. I didn’t have very many fears and thought my brother Joe was the coolest guy on the planet, my sister Lisa was the coolest girl and my sister Heather was mean. We lived on Norfolk Avenue back then, in a three bedroom house for 6 people. I shared a room with my sisters that was painted pink. My favourite toys were dinky cars, Light Brite and Strawberry Shortcake. I desperately wanted a Cabbage Patch Kid but would have to wait until I woke up Christmas morning to find Jenna under the tree. Back when I was four turning five I loved one piece pyjamas and riding my bike – even though it had training wheels. My best friends were two of my cousins: Graham and Danny. Danny and his family lived in the same city as us and he and I would play dinky cars for hours and hours. Graham and his family lived on a farm and we spent a lot of time there. I loved running around on the rafters and jumping into the hay. We would explore and build castles out of sand or blocks. When I was four turning five, I became friends with Devon – and she remains my friend to this day. We used to play house with Steve Roblin as our husband. At this age, I believed that me and my neighbour down the street looked the same with our round faces and long brown hair and I thought because of that we would be friends forever. When I was four turning five I dreamed a lot, played outside a lot and always tried to fit in. I loved animals and loved to laugh. I used to sing to my sister’s high school friends and never minded wearing pink and red together (hey Strawberry shortcake did it all the time, why couldn’t I?) When I was four turning five, I would catch snakes with my sister, build snow forts in any snowbank that I could find and try to have fun whenever possible.

Things that have changed in the past 25 years

  • I have discovered that I like most vegetables – yams, asparagus, brussel sprouts, bean sprouts, spinach are all things I would’ve never ate when I was 5
  • I no longer like the taste of cooked carrots
  • I no longer run away screaming from mushrooms in items and instead pick through and do not comment
  • I really like broccoli, spinach and sundried tomatoes on a pizza
  • I can tolerate small amounts of black pepper on certain things – but not all things
  • The thought of losing control on a toboggan doesn’t hold as much appeal as it did when I was a kid.
  • I really enjoy spending time with my family now
  • If cooked right, I really like meatloaf
  • I no longer want to be a nurse although I do like to help people
  • Spending time with seniors is precious and I wish I learned that sooner in life
  • Having a puppy is a lot of work and a lot of training time – I’d rather have a full grown dog
  • Swimming pools are not the be all end all
  • I spend more time on the internet talking with friends than seeing them face to face
  • Thanks to the internet I’ve been able to keep in contact with friends across Canada – and great friends they are!
  • Having designer clothing doesn’t matter, but having clothes that fit does
  • Having to share my birthday with Jesus isn’t nearly as bad as it used to be
  • Steve Roblin married someone else and has spent the past few years traveling the world – but I still think he’s one of the nicest people I’ve met
  • I don’t play outside that much but still like to get out into the sunshine every once in awhile
  • I can ride a two wheeler bike, but still prefer to ride a Florida trike if given the chance
  • I can now skate forward, backwards, stop quickly without falling down, do cross cuts and circles and would rather be skating than running
  • I still sing in the car but will not sing in front of other people unless in a large group where I can be part of the crowd

Things that haven’t changed

  • I still hate onions
  • Pizza is still my favourite food
  • I still have sudden urges to make snow angels in the snow
  • My family still drives me nuts every once in awhile
  • Playing with Lego’s and colouring are still great ways to pass the time
  • Devon and I are still really close – and can pick up where we left off without skipping a beat
  • Long Point, Ontario is still one of the most peaceful places on earth
  • I still get excited about my birthday
  • I love stickers
  • I love wearing knee high socks
  • I still dream a lot and I still try to fit in as much as I can
  • Seeing animals of all shapes and sizes still gets me giddy
  • I am still silly, still trying to have fun and still trying to make people smile

I am still me.

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