A couple of years ago, I was talking to a biographer about my early life, and we had a conversation with Mum. It was short, but interesting, and made me realise a few simple things, such as my mother loved me as much as I love my own children and was proud of me even though she may not have told me as often as, or in the way that I wanted. We didn’t complete the task of a whole of life biography, but I recently found the transcript of what we said;
Mum: She was born on the 7th of July in the morning, at the Cleve hospital. I was hanging up the washing when I went into labour, and the hospital was almost 30 minutes away! She was delivered by the Matron at the hospital and was only little – 6lb 3oz.
Kate: I didn’t know that!
Mum: She lost a lot of weight, down to almost 5lb, so I had to feed her 3 hourly, which was a bit of a problem when I was home, but you know, you fit these things in. She grew up to be a very bright energetic little girl. She was always intelligent and she loved school and was always the first up to catch the school bus. She would come trotting down the passage about five am. Although they left at ten past seven, it was a bit early for her. I remember her school report came home in grade 1 and her teacher said …… “I have nothing but praise for this bright, energetic little girl. In every way she leaves nothing to be desired ….. and I’ve never forgotten it! I have always been very proud of her and she went on with her school life to always do her very best. She has grown up to be a very intelligent lovely woman.
Kate: Yes, I liked school. I think if I’d gone to university as a young person, which I REALLY wanted to as I wanted to be a vet or physiotherapist, but didn’t have the nerve to go and live in Adelaide on my own, or go against my fathers wishes, I think I would have become a very unsociable, nerdy academic! If I had gone to uni I probably would have stayed at uni. I suspect I would have had a really really different life. So in a way I am glad that I didn’t go when I was young.
Mum: As you know, I think that lots of us have these things we wished we had done or could have done and in the long run it might not have been good for us.
We went on chatting for ages, but sadly this is all that we recorded on that day! Finding it has encouraged me to start writing about the small events that I can still recall, and other incidental things that took place when my children were small. Although my stepson came into my life after he was 5, we bonded as much as a ’real’ parent and child relationship, and I have almost as many memories of him as of my biological son, just not back to his birth! These things are not so important when you are young, as living seems to get in the way, but as you age, they are delightful to hear or read. The trick now is for me to find as many memories about my boys as I can, and record them in some way, as I know how lovely it felt having the chat recorded above with my own mum.