Watching my two beautiful children grow and develop into independent little people is an absolutely fascinating pastime. I am forever being jolted back in time and left standing listening and looking at myself when I was their age. It can just be a phrase or a look and I am instantly back in the 80s, roller skating down the hill in Kilcarn Court at a hundred miles an hour with no cares or worries.
I always wonder why most reminiscing is done through the lenses of rose-tinted glasses? While my ramblings start off nostalgically enough I always manage to find that one turn in the recess of my mind that leads me down a memory lane overflowing with good old-fashioned honest emotion, commotion, conflict, tears and of course the odd bit of laughter. I have vivid memories of a childhood that was never dull.
I watch my daughter grow and can see in her that fierce quest for truth, honesty and loyalty that I couldn’t name when I was her age. I sometimes wonder if her life would be a hell of a lot easier if she could unquestioningly run with the hare and hunt with the hound, yet, I’m extremely proud of her strength of character and can only hope that she remains true to herself as she journeys through this thing we call life.
Listening to her sort out the worries of her world I often find myself sitting on the wall in Kilcarn Court on a sunny summer day itching to get up to some sort of devilment with two friends. Unfortunately for me (or them maybe) I wasn’t to be included on this particular day. The reason? Only people who had Ann for their middle name could play. I still bristle with indignation at the mere thought of it. So my name wasn’t Ann, no problem, but neither was one of the other girls. The unfairness of it all was just too much for eight year old me. If they didn’t want to play with me all they had to do was say.
Needless to say I pointed out the small fact that the two lassies in front me did not share a middle name, and that it was a stupid rule anyway. It may have been their insistence that they DID share a middle name, it may have been the heat of the day (we all know the summers back then where great) or it may have been the fact that I have never been able to stomach liars, but I did something I’m not proud of. Yes, I reached out and grabbed one of them by the hair. After a bit of a tussle I ran straight for home. Thankfully the Gods where in my favour and Mammy Byrne wasn’t home on this particular day. My lovely fairy godmother was minding us. She ran the mammy that eventually turned up on our doorstep, telling her, ‘kids will be kids!’
Thankfully my beautiful red-haired daughter has my love of the truth but none of my temper. I really wish I had been as wise as she is when I was her age. I would have saved myself a whole lot of heartache.