I had a lovely childhood. I really did. I’m sure there were down bits, but the truth of the matter is the happy and comforting things stand out more.
I was in a family where my parents loved each other (we used to find them kissing in the kitchen and shriek and run away covering our eyes but really, we were just glad our parents were together), and we had a simple routine life. Monday to Friday we went to school, and played outside everyday afterwards. We would have a family dinner around the table and talk about our days. Saturdays we went to town and helped Mum buy vegetables from the market, had ballet lessons when we were younger and played outside all afternoon or visited our grandparents. Sunday mornings we went to church, came home for a roast dinner and the afternoon would be spent walking on Cannock Chase, before coming home for a bath, getting in our pyjamas and having boiled eggs and toast whilst watching the BBC programs such as ‘The Lion The Witch and the Wardrobe’.
Every summer my parents rented the same caravan in north Wales for two weeks and we had a lovely holiday. Mum would always pack a ‘rainy day’ activity for us as there would always be a few of them and we’d have things like cut out wardrobes for paper dolls! My Dad would save all his coppers all year so we could use them on slot machines and we’d each get a money bag from him!!
They didn’t want us going off to parks too young, so they bought us swings, slides and a climbing frame for the back garden and our friends would come to play in our garden. We had our dog Bonnie when I was three, and when Sarah and I were eight and seven Dad came home with two guinea-pigs for us! We had two cats, gerbils, hamsters and fish as well along the way.
The three of us were, (and still are) very close. We made our own entertainment, made gangs and secret societies, built dens in the woods, wrote story books and made little towns out of paper cubes!!
We all three had piano lessons, Sarah gave up first after grade one, I got to grade five and Amy went all hte way to grade eight! Amy and I joined the junior choir and I went on to the youth choir. We all went to Guides, but Sarah didn’t like it, and Amy soon left whereas I went onto Rangers and to be a Young Leader. Sarah instead joined the drama group and was in lots of productions.
Throughout it all though, our parents were there, and we’ve always known they would help us out and support us through anything. And I think having that security shapes you as a person. It gives a confidence in life and humanity.
We are all going away for a weeks holiday next week, and our children will be the ones playing on the beaches in North Wales whilst we sit and watch them and remember when we were young. It’s crazy to think how slow your childhood seems to go by, but year by year time speeds up until you want to slow it down again. But this time you’re living the childhood through your own children and seeing their enjoyment of rock pools, and sandcastle building, exploring or climbing a big hill. And if they feel as secure and happy as I remember us feeling, then something has worked out right in the big scheme of things. 🙂