Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Through the decades

Through the decades
14 January 2013

Okay, after this, I promise (scout's honour, not that I was ever a scout mind you) to stop banging on about turning forty.  But every so often, especially once you've reached a milestone, a bit of introspection as well as retrospection is allowed.  And while we're at it, a spot of “future-wishful-spection” too.

Just focusing on the decades, this is what I remember and wish for in the future.

I don't remember turning ten all that well.  However what I do recall is that we were living in Clanwilliam (also fondly known as hot-as-hell) at the time.  Now that place gets blistering hot!  My then irritating little brother, Albert, had turned six years old just three days before my birthday.  So once again, I felt duped in to having a joint birthday party with him.  Little brothers and their even more annoying little friends are just so..... well, annoying.  My folks had just bought a lattice style yellow porter pool and we had a pool party.  The day was a scorcher and I remember gorging on sweets, eating cake, drinking gassy cool drinks in colourful plastic cups and swimming in our knee-high pool with a whole bunch of kids too - making whirlpools all the time.  Feeling so happy and carefree.  Ever so important because I was turning ten on the 10th of January -  my crown birthday.  Oupa Willem and Ouma Helene had driven through from Somerset West for the weekend to join us for our celebrations.  I was a real tomboy and a little bookworm, and my present from Oupa and Ouma was a wonderful collection of short stories in a book called "Stories vir nege-jariges".  Obviously Ouma knew that I was turning ten, but she couldn't resist the fabulous book.  And I'm so glad she didn't.  I still have the book to this day and read it a few times over.  At the time, Katrine was an edible little 3 year old, whom everyone adored.

Now for my twentieth birthday.  I can't remember having a special celebration.  And in all likelihood I probably didn't.  Perhaps a family meal at home and maybe a bit of a jol with my boyfriend afterwards.  I was about to head off into my 3rd year at varsity and was looking forward to less subjects and a really peachy time table.  For my whole 3rd year at varsity, I never had a lecture on a Friday.  Not once.  It was just my luck that it worked out that way with my subject combo.  Every single weekend was a long one and started after my last class on a Thursday, which finished at 11h10.  How lucky is that?  At the time I was dating this real hottie.  A skinny guy with a suspiciously sparse hairstyle called Grant.  I nurtured fond hopes of bagging him long term and marrying him.  I dreamt of having at least three children with him. 

On my 30th birthday I could reflect back on my good fortune in bagging the hottie.  He was now my husband and the father of my two beautiful children.  I dreamt of having at least one more baby, but that very same hottie with the by-now almost non-existent hairstyle had declared to anyone willing to listen that our family was complete.  Two children were more than enough in his opinion.  The memory of Amber's colic was still too fresh in his memory.  Luke was nearly five years old and was about to start his first of two years at Happy Days pre-primary school.  Amber was a one year old who had just started taking her first exploratory steps.  Yet she preferred crawling as her primary mode of getting around - she was so good at it and was wickedly fast.  But fun as the speedy crawling was, her favourite pastime by far was clinging to my hip like a limpet, all whilst hanging on to my earlobe at the same time.  As a comfort object, an earlobe is rather troublesome as it has to belong to a live person, preferably a mother.  One who doesn't mind having a baby permanently attached to it.  It was like having a living, breathing, demanding earring.  I remember doing home gym with a few friends a few times a week.  Gymming with a baby attached to your hip and earlobe is rather challenging and it did kill the joy a bit.  However I probably got a way better workout than my friends due to the additional benefit of "weights" being added.

And now on my 40th I look back with gratitude at how far I've come.  I've grown as a person.  I've chilled and mellowed.  I've cut myself some slack.  I realise I don't have to be perfect.  I like where I'm heading.  For the most part, I like who I am.  I'm comfortable being me.  I'm still married to the hottie, who is now also a baldie.  A look that really works for him and happens to float my boat.  I'm the lucky mother of three gorgeous children and I marvel at my good fortune.  I rejoice in being their Mom and going on this journey with them.  Learning along the way.  Me and them.  My heart still aches for another baby.  I don't think that will ever go away.  I'm already worried about them leaving home one day.

And now looking into the future.  By the time I turn 50, Luke will be 24.  Hopefully by then he has finished studying and is starting to reap the benefits of his tertiary education.  With a bit of luck he has a really good job and his career is starting to take off.  Perhaps he’s sharing digs with some buddies.  For sure he'll be dating some lovely girl.  A girl I really, really like and have a fantastic relationship with.  Amber will be 21.  We will still be on a high after celebrating her fantastic 21st.  She will be heading off to her 3rd year at varsity.  And will probably be dating a wonderful and kind guy - perhaps a doctor?  And "little" Cole will be about to embark on his Matric year.  Chances are that he will have a whole flock of girls chasing him and he'll have the pick of the pack.  Possibly even two.  Quite obviously by this stage my blog will be syndicated and I'll have regular spots in a variety of magazines and newspapers.  We will be on a 5th reprint of my "Best of the Blogs" collection of favourite blogs.  Predictably a 3rd reprint of "Best of the Blogs Volume 2". And naturally we'll be busy planning the launch party of "Best of the Blogs Volume 3" which will be hitting the shelves shortly.  So all, in all everything will be going swimmingly.

By the time I hit the big 60, I will have a passel of grandbabies already.  At age 34, my son Luke (the architect) and his wife would have squeezed out three.  The twins and then another little one.  They will also be toying with the idea of a 4th.  A little girl.  At age 31, Amber will be doing exceptionally well.  Though she qualified top of her class at varsity, she will be taking a break from her career to focus on her family.  Her husband (the doctor) is one of the family – accepted and loved by all.  Their daughter, little Helene, will be three years old and they will have just fulfilled one of Amber's lifelong wishes when they adopted a little African baby.  At age 28 Cole will be at the peak of his sporting career.  He will have Springbok colours in three different sporting disciplines and his career as a financial consultant (he always did love money) will be booming.  Him and his wife will still be madly in love after their fairy tale wedding the previous year and they will be eagerly awaiting the birth of their first baby - a little boy.  I will still be blogging and recently have branched out to short stories.  Book sales will be high and new blogs in ever increasing demand.  I’ll still be married to the baldie.  A baldie who is starting to stoop a little bit.

And though I plan on living for a very, very long time after my 60th, I have decided to not plan my 70th, 80th or 90th too long in advance.  A bit of a surprise is marvellous after all and I look forward to finding out how it all pans out.  Like a marvellous and mysterious gift that takes years to unravel and reveal itself.  Enjoying the journey along the way too.

My school photo when I was ten years old. Apologies - it was a very bad hair year for me. Grant laughed for a ridiculous amount of time when he saw this photo. And as for Luke!

My 10th Birthday party and Albert's 6th Birthday party. I'm wearing the black one piece cozzie in the back and Albert is in the very front.

An olympic pool it was not, yet we loved it with a passion. I learnt to swim in it.

Albert aged 6, Me aged 10 (hated dresses, so this is a very rare pic of me wearing one) and Katrine aged 3

This photo is taken round about the time I was 20 years old. Up the Creek with the family. I remember it being particularly windy and blistering hot when the pic was taken. My Dad was sucking on a Frostie, my Mom was holding it all together, I was showing off my bod (back in the day when it was still really good and I was comfortable appearing in public in a bikini), Katrine was a super cool 13 year old teenager and Albert was a moody and hormonal 17 year old, judging from this pic. In fact he is sporting the same bored, annoyed and irritated look that I thought Luke had perfected. Imagine that!

A family pic - we all absolutely HATE this pic, yet it is a record of the time.

Grant's birthday - neither of us had really big hair - our doo's are a mere courtesy of some unflattering shadows

On my 30th Birthday

Getting a birthday cuddle from Luke and Amber

We had a champagne breakfast for some friends

More brekkie pics

With my gorgeous kids on my 40th Birthday


  1. Your school pic is hilarious! Words fail me ... OMW Luke looks so much like your brother in the fifth photo - scary! Had to have another look at the school pic ... still laughing!

  2. Your school pic is hilarious! Words fail me ... OMW Luke looks so much like your brother in the fifth photo - scary! Had to have another look at the school pic ... still laughing!

  3. Your school pic is hilarious! Words fail me ... OMW Luke looks so much like your brother in the fifth photo - scary! Had to have another look at the school pic ... still laughing!

  4. Love all the pics! I'm going to start smoking again when I am 70! That's been my only projection so far through the decades!