Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Jumping in puddles & dancing in the rain...

Okay, so after yesterday's D&M I feel I need to inject some more laughter into my blogging. Don't worry, I won't be bombarding you with more dancing llamas (mainly because I still can't get that bloody song out of my head). I think it is time to revisit my past, thus giving you some insight into why I am, well, the way I am! I will try to keep it brief, as I know that I tend to waffle, but - as always - no promises. Here goes.
I come from a small, close-knit family unit. I'm not talking extended family, I'm talking mother, father & brother material. I grew up on a decent-sized lifestyle block. We had the usual sheep, chickens, ducks and our own orchard. We didn't have television until I was around 13, and every night mum would read us stories (I can't count the number of times I fell asleep in front of the fire to Lord of the Rings or The Hobbit). In our spare time, my brother and I would make huts in trees, make make-shift bows & arrows and "abseil" the banks of our creek with bailing twine. I miss those carefree days of innocence! It is only now I have a child of my own I realise how sweet I had it.

Because of my nurtured upbringing, I was lucky. I credit the amount of time & energy mum devoted to us kids for the fact I never really had to work in school. I just kind of coasted (a constant source of irritation for my parents, and my brother too - who had a mild dyslexia and who really struggled... particularly with maths) and unfortunately this has carried into my adult life. I hate having to wait for things. If I want something, I want it instantly. Instant gratification. I'm not blaming my parents at all for this, as they always went above and beyond for us, it is my issue and mine alone. I also have a lot of pressure (also self-inflicted) to bring my son up in the same loving, nurturing environment. I love him to bits, but am really struggling with not having a career. Stupid really. I don't need to work and would be much better off channelling my angst into something more productive... Hey, I'm trying!

Anyway, I digress. 

I admit I didn't make my little brother's life particularly easy. Don't get me wrong, if there were kids in school who picked on him then I would beat them up. Great conflict resolution there! I remember one instance though when I tried "helping" him conquer his fear of the dark. To do this, I tied him to a chair (don't ask me how I convinced him this was a good idea, apparently I can be quite persuasive!), gagged him and turned all the lights in the room out. It was pitch black. Needless to say I was punished for this. The standard punishment back then was 'no pudding for a week'. Tough, right? Another time I hid down the side of his bed, waited for him to fall asleep, then jumped on him shouting. Come on, at the time it was pretty funny! Again, no pudding for a week. We also used to have "boxing" matches on the trampoline. We used ski-gloves to pad our hands out, until I figured it was much more entertaining to try bare-knuckle boxing. This was until he started going to karate lessons and became a lot stronger than me. Not cool bro, not cool. 

Having said all this, we did have a lot of fun growing up. Between the fighting and teasing, we made mud pies, fireworks (we would strap the sky rockets onto matchbox cars & barbie dolls, then sit back and watch the results) & of course our well-crafted "possum traps". These traps were very effective. We would tie bailing twine around the tree, attach apples etc as bait, create nooses and "trick" the possums into our "pit". This pit was usually mum's giant soup pot, filled with water and covered with leaves (to disguise it, obviously). We had great success with these traps and I have lost count of the number of poor, dense possums we cunningly captured. It wasn't until quite a few years later I realised that the joke was on us. During the night our parents would set the 'kill trap', sneak up early in the morning & place the deceased possum within our snares. When I discovered we'd been "duped", I was pretty pissed off. Our parents had lied to us and made us fools! However now, looking back, I realise that this was a good thing. They kept the magic alive for us kids as long as was possible, which must have been no easy feat! We grew up with Fairy Circles & Magic Wishing Trolls. We jumped in the puddles & danced in the rain. We had everything we could possibly need and a never-ending supply of love. Don't even get me started on our birthday parties. Phwoarr. 

The bar has been set pretty damned high & I can only hope that I come close to equalling it. I know people always think that there were things they will change about their upbringing, when bringing up their own children... But I can honestly say I wouldn't want to change a thing. I may not be the most motivated mother at times, but I am going to try and keep the magic alive for my son as long as humanly possible. In a day of cellphones, internet, video games and, well, sex this may not be an easy task... but if I can give him even a fraction of what my parents gifted me, then I will be one happy bunny!

Well, this was meant to be a light-hearted rendition of childhood, but I guess my inner philosopher has taken the reins. My wee poppet is awake now, so I think it's time to go for a walk in the bush... so I can show him where the fairies live!

Over & Out


prujean said...

Oh honey, this made me cry!
Love you baby

skymum said...

yeah well... thanks for setting the bar so bloody high mum! Geez ;)

Vbanger said...

Wow~! That was amazing and a talented writer at that too Bets! I thoroughly enjoyed it, what a great childhood you had. I wish I could rid of all the electronics so I can read to my darling daughters till they're 13. Unfortunately due to societies dependency on technology, I don't think that would be possible! What you had is what I'd like to give my wee ones and hope too that one day they will appreciate it, just like you!x

skymum said...

I was so incredibly lucky... Back then I remember my biggest concern. It was when I had just started to question Santa, and I was worried because 'what if he's NOT real and no-one tells me.. then I have kids and they don't get any presents, because I thought 'santa' would bring them??"... yup, that was it. My only real childhood worry. Ahh the good old days!