I hope you never lose your sense of wonder
You get your fill to eat but always keep that hunger
May you never take one single breath for granted
God forbid love ever leave you empty handed
I’m the youngest of 12- have I ever mentioned that? Yep 7 sisters and 4 brothers and perhaps I should clarify a few things. Yes my mother is Catholic, no in the beginning they didn’t own a tv and yes I guess she really did love children. Life in a big family is not like an extended episode of the Brady Bunch there are fights about everything (completely ridiculous stuff that some still hold a grudge now for things that happened 50 years ago).
I’m 8 years younger than my closest sibling my sister Kellie who was forced to share a room with me and when I say forced I mean she probably wasn’t too happy about the fact that I suffered chronic nightmares and used to climb in her bed every night until I was 7. I was also thoughtful enough to lay behind her incase any bad men broke in they would see her and not me (self preservation even at such a young age).
The age gap meant I was able to escape a lot of things for instance I missed 90% of the mainstream fighting at least until I was a teenager. I was however victim to the taunting pranks instead. For instance I walked around for 3 days thinking I was pregnant when I was 7 because my heavily pregnant sister in law had given me half a can of drink. After drinking it my sister looked at me and said ‘did you just drink after Tanya? you know that’s how you get pregnant right’ I was terrified. What was my mother was going to say- I wasn’t even married.
I was also told I was a mistake, that I came from the Cabbage Patch and my favourite was when my Kindergarten teacher called my mother up to school because she felt I couldn’t understand the difference between lies and the truth. She based this on a drawing we were supposed to do of our parents and our brothers and sisters – she apparently had never heard of big families and my mother set her firmly straight. But my childhood even with all the taunting was FUN, it was so much FUN which was so important because we suffered a lot of loss (both my father and brother passed away before I was 10). I just remember laughter and love and really bad haircuts……..and clothes what was my mother thinking.
I remember being obsessed with Romper Room I even had a Mr Dobee bowl and I LOVED play school (why didn’t they ever look through the Arch Window?), Young Talent Time and as I got older I loved Saved by The Bell, Degrassi, You Can’t Do That on Television and then 90210. These shows in no way reflected my fashion sense though I did seem to wear an awful lot of neon and side ponytails and crimped hair and scrunchies. I had a scrunchie in every single colour oh and I had jelly shoes I loved them sooo much.
Music wise I was totally influenced by the sisters in the beginning….Madonnas True Blue and Tiffany I think we’re alone now and you could always tell when my sister Bub had broken up with her boyfriend again (he’s been her husband for like 16 years now) because she would play her Whitney Houston tape on the boombox and we would all be forced to listen to “All at once”. My first real choice of music I liked was the girl group Girlfriend….no I didn’t wear the massive hats and floral clothes like they did…..ok I totally did, I may have also worn clogs. I in no way sang along to songs like “Ooo I’m gonna make you sweat” without knowing what they meant ok I did and I am completely blushing at what those songs really do mean….DIRTY!
I was obsessed with dolls, barbie in particular and LOVED my barbie campervan, but I also remember loving Little Miss MakeUp and Baby Shivers. I may have also forced my grown up brother and his friends to play Barbie fashion parades and my barbie always won. To this day I LOVE board games and was obsessed with Twister and the Babysitters Club Game and Dizzy Dizzy Dinosaur and I remember being 6 and begging everyone to play elastics with me. When they refused I would put the elastics around the otto bins and play by myself. We also made up our own games and built forts in the lounge room with blankets and dining room chairs my sisters were so much fun. I loved the park and in particularly the swings. Our next door neighbour had a swing and I would spend hours over there if I could just going higher and higher feeling the wind whip through my long hair.
The other thing I really remember about my childhood was dancing everywhere whenever I could, performing obviously and dancing that way but I also danced through life I always had a smile, I was pretty much always happy and I was almost always fearless….I miss that.
Thanks so much to Deb from HomeLifeSimplified for this weeks Listmania about childhood it has been a much loved trip down memory lane.
I hope you still feel small when you stand beside the ocean
Whenever one door closes I hope one more opens
Promise me that you’ll give faith a fighting chance
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance