God I love these people. And it’s not every day you get a two for the price of one Facebook / and real-life friend.
Jason is the son of my mum’s best friend – my brother from my other mother. We’ve known each other forever – well, my forever, Jason is close to two years my senior.
I met Nicole, Mrs Jason when we were both in our teens at high school. It’s weird that I only realised that I remembered I met Nicole after I’d met Jason when we discussed their joint facebook account – and I realised at that time that I’d been communicating via Messenger with Nicole, not Jason for years, and it made no difference to the conversation whatsoever.
I moved to the little town of Macksville on my sixteenth birthday. I was half way through Grade 9 – Jason and Nicole were in Grade 11. Jason lived with his family ‘up the road’ from my house and this was the catalyst for much hanging out through the formative years. Jason introduced me to the world of Australian comedy and I still belly laugh through the antics of the Doug Anthony Allstars, Wendy Harmer and Jean Kittson as they strut their stuff on the Big Gig.
The two departed ‘the Valley’ much earlier than I and the found their new home in Sydney early in 1991 preparing for their respective careers in health.
Jason, Nicole and I continued to connect over the years. I still recall lugging my suitcase of upcycled clothing to their place in Rockdale sometime during my illustrious senior schooling years. Why I was hawking clothing as opposed to studying for my HSC remains to be seen however in hindsight I guess I was getting prepared for my future career (in business).
The two wedded back in our home town in 1996 and I still recall that much too late bus to Sydney airport with my beau, Adam. My heart jumped through my eyeballs as I watched the minutes to check in countdown and the banked up Sydney traffic in my way. Somehow we made it, with great relief to the most sophisticated event of my life to that date.
It was these two that were my first friends to marry, buy a house and eventually bring some magnificent little humans into the world.
I was at a radio (sales) gig in Brisbane back in 1998 when Jason called me to tell me “I was an auntie” when the beautiful Rosie was born. I still recall the exhausted exuberance in his voice and the knowing that he was going to be so good at this. Not so long after Ronan was born and the Jason-Nicole Laird family was complete. I must admit I’ve been a pretty shitty and non-existent aunty, nevertheless if surrogate auntiness is measured in terms of admiration they I could say I’ve excelled.
I can’t believe my eyes as I see these lovely two turn 18, finish high school, go off to uni and claim their place in the big wide world. What happened to that time? Really though, it doesn’t surprise me, Jason and Nicole have done parenting magnificently.
The Laird family live in pairs and the great love these two have for one another could only perhaps be surpassed for that of Jason’s parents, or his parent’s parents. They may argue, they may complain but they are together as one. There’s something so safe about that solidarity, a true testament to sticking by a good choice.
And it’s the same in their friendship circle, it’s not every day you can attend an 18th birthday party and meet the same folks that were at the 8th birthday party. These guys commit. Perhaps this suggests their patience to walk along beside me, despite some great – and not so great choices.
Life takes people different ways and having kids, living life has certainly kept us all busy. In the meantime social media has been a reliable connector for us and I’ve particularly enjoyed following Jason’s culinary adventures via #thedadwhocooks.
These two are the kind of people who remind me that good people exist, they are those solid, always there friends that one can only hope to find in life.
I certainly feel lucky to have found them.
#Meet My Friends is a project and personal challenge that I’ve set for myself to meet all of my 1,266 Facebook friends and spend at least half an hour connecting with each and every one of them. The commenced on 17 September 2018 and it has no time limits. The original post outlining the challenge is here