Ah, the Shipley girls.
Three of us - little stepping stones a year apart in age.
I arrived first in January 73
Cousin Jen March 74
Seester Sue May 75
Each time the Shipley bros would get together they would line up the Shipley girls to take a photo. This went on for years and years. The likeness found in cousin Jen and I as wee ones was so close there have been mislabels on family photos as to which one was Jen and which one was me.
Auntie Di would say; "I don't recall you having a shirt like that Jen?
"Mom that's Michelle!"
My mom could be heard sighting the same tales!
When we hit our teens we all took on our own likeness. Jen became a signature blond, I opted for red and Sue was our cutie brunette. Jen and I sprouted up long and lean and Sue stayed petite. At one point during college both Jen and I worked at the Bull Dog Pub on Elgin Street in Ottawa. It was a hot spot, we made great money and it was totally fun to work there together. I recall one regular saying to me; "I thought your laugh was totally fake until I heard your cousin Jen laugh - you guys sound the same!" Was it a compliment? Jen & I have no idea.
On other occasions, while I worked the bar, and Jen cocktailed the floor, I would have customers approach me and say :
"I ordered a drink from you when I was standing back there, but, I moved to that table."
I would correct the customer and say, "no you ordered a drink from that girl" pointing to my cousin ..."I'll let her know you moved."
So while we didn't look exactly alike we still held the Shipley resemblance pretty strongly.
We always had a blast together any time we got together, which was never long enough, or often enough, as far as we were concerned. We played dress up. Sue, Jen and I dressing in our mother's old negligees and high heels, making up dances and plays and then inviting our parents to the couch to watch our performances...we were all as close as sisters.
We talked about having little girls one day who would play just as we had. We discussed having this miniature version of ourselves in our own grown up homes. It never crossed our minds that we had no control over the sex of our children or the fact that these kids would be their own person, with their own ideas, likes and dislikes, who may not want to play dress up. And we never thought of having sons ...
And then Sue had a SON.
Then Jen had a SON.
Jen & Wyatt January 2008
BOYS!? At a hair appointment Jen and Sue recently conversed about the Shipley girls having houses full of baby boys....just because we had been a brood of girls.
Well, wouldn't you know it. Jen & her hubby Mike became pregnant with their second baby and their due date was APRIL 3. Steve and I are due April 10th!
Jen and I were so excited to be having babies so close together. What if we have them on the same day?! She told me to hold on - if you think you are in love with Steve and your baby now just wait what comes over you the second you hold your Baby P - she was over the moon for me to share in what she & Sue already knew about motherhood.
Jen prego, Sue, Me prego, February 2009
Well yesterday my sweet cousin Jen had a BOY! Yes, another boy is added to our family! Congratulations Jen, Mike & big brother Wyatt - I can't wait to meet Baby Brother.
Jen and Sue both think our baby P is a boy too. They said it's karma because we were all such girly girls our fate is to reside in houses filled with boys and boy things....upon hearing that I became superstitious. I bought only gender neutral items for Baby P. So long as the baby is "healthy" we have "no preference" for a boy or a girl Steve and I repeat this over and over when asked.
And then last night I bought this:
But, it has little embroidered PEAS on it for Baby P.
If Baby P arrives with a Pee Pee then the outfit goes to Cousin Baby Girl Deutscher due in June ... no harm no foul right? Right? I also bought BLUE...I did! I swear! A few little NAVY BLUE outfits!