My mother once told me she only wanted 2 children – and she ended up having 5! After 3 boys she was told by the doctor that the next birth would be easier (she had complications with number 3) and she assured the doctor (and my dad) that there was no way she would be having any more! But it was only a matter of time before my dad started asking her “wouldn’t you like a little girl?”8
The story my parents used to tell me is that when I was born the doctor (who had delivered my 3 brothers) jumped around the room saying “it’s a girl, it’s a girl!” My mother had picked out my name, Brenda, and my dad wanted my middle name to be Joy because I was “going to bring a lot of joy into the family”. That line was the subject of many jokes because I was a bit of a nightmare of a child! But here began my story, and finding the joy in life.
My childhood in the 70’s was simple and happy with memories of family holidays camping, driving out to the orchards to get fruit for mum to bottle, hanging out with my cousins, a little sister that came along when I was 5, lots of friends, church camps and picnics, winning the sprints at school sports day, netball, camping holidays, beaches, hot pools, bbqs, toffee apples at Guy Fawkes every year, playing cops and robbers with my brothers and the neighbours, playing cards with my family (we didn’t have a TV), performing in musicals at school and church and much much more.
All of these things brought me so much joy as I grew up learning to enjoy the simple things and finding the joy in life. My upbringing was Christian and my faith in God means everything to me. I was loved and secure and grew up in a safe little bubble. My family grew as my brothers married and had families of their own and by age 19 I was very happy to be an aunty. I remain very close to my siblings and their families and count them among my greatest friends who continue to give me much joy.
Thanks Mum and Dad….
Of course my parents weren’t perfect but I think they did so much right that it set me on the path towards a great life. I have always been a positive, glass half full kinda girl – but you never know how much is nature and how much is nurture. I’m very different from my mum but we share the same core values and beliefs and I’ve passed these onto my own children. My parents had a true love story right through 55 years of marriage until my mum passed away 5 years ago. I might share their story in another post….