April 18, 2010
And definitely somewhere to go. A church wedding followed by a reception in downtown Fitzroy on a balmy autumn evening.
Ginger and Peta said the bride wasn’t normal because she didn’t have a train. I’ll just add that the bride looked fanatastic in a pinched waisted and scalloped bust 50s styled dress with delicate lace cover all over.
We scrubbed up alright too. In fact we possess photographic evidence. Rare, I know.
April 18, 2010
Ginger is worried. She asks questions. She ponders weighty issues. She is delving into existentialism. She is also wonderfully phleghmatic at times. Witness her commentary below.
Example One. J and I made a passing comment about being grandparents one day in the future. There was no real seriousness to it but Ginger responded drily: “That’s if you last that long”. Our creaky bones and cavernous wrinkles obviously set up that retort.
Example Two. Imagine utside under the hills hoist eating sandwiches in the company of some chooks and dad. Out of the blue Ginger pipes up: “Why are we all here?” What in the backyard? Under the clothesline? Excatly where? Err, no, more poignantly, why are people born here on this Earth, live a life and die is precisely what she means. Why indeed. J responded with some erudite five-year old friendly comment and added that many people have asked themselves the same thing. It’s called philosophy.
Example 3. Ginger is nearly 6. Her grandmother R died about a month ago. I thought she was doing fine but one evening about a week ago she got up from bed as soon as her dad and I came downstairs. She was in distress and weeping claiming that she was worried she was going to die.
We took her back to bed and sat with her. She was crying a great deal with much emtional angst explaining how worried she was. She was worried because she doesn’t want to die. She then made a huge existentialist leap: I wish I had never been born so I wouldn’t have to worry about dying. Broke my heart.
We were pretty shocked at her angst but we tried to validate what was clearly some inner turmoil. We explained everyone dies but it was likely that she wouldn’t die for a long time to come. She would grow up and have lots of other things to do and think about first. She eventually fell asleep.
As an aside, I too miss R very much. Perhaps I’ll write about her one day so that the possum and the bunny rabbit can remember how much she loved them and they, her.
April 14, 2010
I tried brussel sprouts for the first time in my life tonight. They tasted crap.
I can’t handle this vegetable. J found it quite charming. He also noticed that I surreptiously tossed one back into its serving bowl. I’ve picked up pointers from the bunny rabbit and possum.
March 3, 2010
Summer has been weird. Things grew. I grew some tomatoes and we seem to have an over abundance of chillies. Nobody eats the chillies except me. There are also some unexpected large pumpkins and spaghetti melons looming across our shrivelled and lacklustre lawn. They have been slow off the mark and only noticed by accident. The broccoli worked and was eaten with a lovely dollop of olive oil and salt sprinkle.
Our dwarf nectarine tree fruited some tasty treats. Again, I ate them all by myself. I’m most proud though of the two little peaches. One is a medley of citrus and the other is big on cha-cha heels and showy attire.
Time to think about the autumn patch.
January 26, 2010
My dad told us a story at our Ozzie Day barbecue today. As a child he mooched about with cousins who were identical twins. Their teacher was unable to consistently identify them correctly. She solved that little problem quick smart. She wrote the name of each child on their forehead. It seems that 1950s primary schools in rural southern Italy must have been all out of sticky labels. I know I’m glad that 3M products are now available.
My best friend at primary school was a chubby girl with a searingly fast self-depreacting sense of humour, even as a 10 year old. In the middle years, just as we all started to gain some self-consciousness, I remember one notorious little boy ‘getting into trouble’ big time. Punishment was doled out. He was made to hold hands all day with my best friend. I think I knew even then, circa 1978, that this wasn’t entirely, hmmm, correct.
School. It’s about to happen all over again for this little generation that Big Boy and I have spawned. It means I better stop training for the negligent mother award and do something about acquiring clothes’ labels and a school bag. Ginger starts her academic career in five days. Yikes! She insists that the principal told her that there was a special teacher on hand to wipe childrens’ bottoms after they have gone to the loo. This was her comeback rationale to my constant haranguing about her needing to learn to wipe her own bottom. I simply can’t be at school with her every time she needs it done. “It’s okay mum. There’s a teacher at school who wipes bottoms. The principal told me.”
I don’t have many memories from grade prep. I had an inelegant haircut. it was all choppy fringe and boy short in length. I have evidence. My grade prep photo shows an excruciatingly shy four year old in puce striped Catholic school uniform, biting her lip and trying not to cry. Whether it was the haircut or my intimidation by photographic equipment, I couldn’t tell you. I remember waking up from nap time and rousing to a surreal carny scene. I was a wog child who had probably never seen a clown or a carousel or had a pony ride. Nobody told me that the school was having a visiting circus. Fellini couldn’t have thought it up. Clowns!
I have prepared Ginger for clowns, booked a haircut appointment, and considered making enquiries about a school uniform. That ought to get me some stripes.
January 24, 2010
Peta, 3 years and 7 months
Peta weed in her undies.
Me: “That’s lovely. Not to worry. It’s ok.”
Ginger said: “Mum are you being sarcastic.”
Me: “Noooo (sarcastically)”
Peta: “Mum why are you being fantastic?”
Peta: “Mum, I don’t want to be a grown up.” I reassured her it was ok.
Peta: “I still didn’t want to be a grown up. I don’t want to cook.”
Peta: “Mum, do you know what I drew?”
Peta: “A fashion from the 70s scribble.”
Ginger, 5 years and 4 months
Ginger: “If you wanted time alone, you shouldn’t have had children.”
Ginger, 5 years and 6 months
Ginger: “Is mickey mouse or micky jagger in the rolling stones?”
Ginger, aka the wedgie police: “Peta spends half her life picking her undies out of her bottom.”
Ginger: “Milley Cyrus is in Harry Potter.” Kiddie pop culture gone wrong!
Ginger, taking ages to fall asleep late one night: “What I really want is some distraction and entertainment.”
Peta, 3 years and 9 months:
Peta, referring to how big she is: “a hundred billion big”
Having soap in her eyes, and babbo is washing it our with a face washer: “I know you’re doing your best but it STILL hurts.”
January 24, 2010
I’ve been negligent the last few months. Much has happened. Little has changed. There has been travel, a marriage proposal, swimming lessons, work adventures, juggling, more chooks, perpetual personal crises, and growth spurts.
There has also been closure.
Many moons ago, when I first met Big Boy, he was involved with another lady friend. Introductions were made but in truth I had already met her years before in my 20s. Big Boy and this old gal were very enmeshed and spent lots of time together.
Big Boy and I hit off straight away. We birthed a couple of children, succumbed to early nights in bed watching DVDs snuggled under our doona, and jumped feet first into domesticity. Big Boy also took to 9-to-5 melodrama and that most certainly compromised his attachment to cocktails with his old lady friend.
This friend had a certain reputation that came with a certain personality. She was larger than life like an old-time stripper with a big boa constrictor that shimmied its skin around you. She was tough as red lacquered nails, scruffy like weeks-old bed sheets, big drinking and gravelly voiced, and a loud late night inner-city party stalwart; but almost demure in the way in which she statically buzzed around in the background, unchanged, over many winters and summers. I guess she was easy to take for granted.
Last week Big Boy’s lady friend decided to retire from her loud party life and all her old-time entanglements. She decided to say good-bye over a few nights of drinking, one all day mini-music festival and a family barbecue today. Nobody wants her to retire. How do I know? Mostly because ALL her old friends showed up to cuddle her, drink to her, and cry over her retirement form public life.
Big Boy and I haven’t seen her much socially in the last few years but she formed a constant background to our lives . She still looks and sounds the same but a touch weary. She was gracious and charming in her departure.
I know Big Boy won’t forget her all that easily. Nor will I.
I tip my hat to her.