When I look back on my childhood (all those years ago!) it’s with a heart full of happiness. We didn’t have the easiest ride – the loss of my sister, money being tight and us having to go without a lot of what would be considered standard things – but I would never say for a second that any of the hardships my parents went through affected us at all. Somehow they suffered as they did without it ever impacting us.
Whilst we didn’t have the normal things our friends had like the latest fashions or computer systems, we did have a loving and supportive family, close knit but allowing us to grow and become our own characters.
I always look back on my childhood and smile, so I thought it might be nice, this Blogtober, to share some of my favourite childhood memories…
I was cute once!
Lemonade and Rainstorms
We used to spend a lot of time in our garden, always running around and wearing patches in the grass, and towards the end of it there was a row of conifer trees, the bottom branches of which were a couple of feet above the ground. I recall one day hiding from the rain under the branches with my brother and sister when we saw Mum jogging towards us through the downpour from the back of the house, with three plastic cups of lemonade and a chocolate bar for each of us. A little picnic in our forest den in the rain. I have never forgotten that moment and I don’t think I ever will.
Bedtime Star Gazing
My brother and I used to share a bedroom and I remember so many nights, after our parents had tucked us up and thought we were sleeping soundly, my brother silently climbing onto the end of my bed where we would sit gazing up at the stars. I fancied myself as a bit of a novice astronomer at the time, so I’d point out the different constellations and we’d wonder at the night sky. I’m sure mum and dad knew we weren’t asleep but they never let on.
One summer’s night, my brother and I had gone to bed and were snoozing away. All was well as we both happily jaunted through the Land of El Kippo, when suddenly we were awoken by mum and dad yelling at us to get out of bed quickly and come downstairs. For some reason we both automatically assumed there was a fire and bolted out of our bedroom and down the stairs, only to find mum and dad standing at the back door beckoning us over. There was no fire – there were hedgehogs in the garden and they didn’t want us to miss them…
I don’t know if it’s the same all over the world, but in the UK bats are a protected species, therefore if there is a nest it has to be left alone. For some reason, a family of bats decided the ideal place for them to live would be in the void underneath our bath, so they found a hole in the brickwork and settled in. During the summer, of an evening around twilight, we would lay on a blanket in the back garden and look up at the bats as they climbed out of their nest and flew around. I found it fascinating and if I close my eyes I can picture the scene, feel the cool summer evening air, and have that same sense of calm and contentedness I had then.
We didn’t have a lot of holidays when I was growing up but the ones we did have were always hilarious disasters. From the hairdryer that blew up while mum was using it, to the sofa infested with ants, to my brother contracting chicken pox, to the llama escaping from its enclosure at the zoo and us having to hide behind a bus to get away from it, and the group of seagulls who worked as a team to divebomb us until we threw our chips and ran away; every time we reminisce we end up in tears of laughter! There are so many other stories I could tell you but it we’d be here a while.
I truly believe I was so lucky to have the childhood I did. I was allowed to have my own beliefs and to carve my own way through the world as long as my parent’s knew I was doing so with a kind heart and a sensible head on my shoulders. I hope, if ever I have children, that I will be able to allow my children the same sense of freedom and security that I was given, knowing that my parents would always love and support me in everything I did.
I know I don’t say it enough but, mum and dad (I know you’re reading this) thank you for everything, I couldn’t have asked for a better childhood, I love you both.
Read my other Blogtober posts here and be sure to pop back tomorrow for Blogtober #14: Pet Peeves