With the Bombshell’s 7th birthday approaching it bought back some not-so-good memories of my own 7th birthday.
Or what I thought I was my 7th birthday*.
‘Do you want to hear what happened on my birthday’ I asked the girls as we drove to school one day.
Always eager for stories about ‘the olden days’, the girls quickly agreed.
‘I was allowed to have an ‘S’ party, since my name was Shannon, and everyone had to come as something that started with the letter ‘S’. I had one friend come as a spider, with legs made from black stockings filled with crunched up paper. Another friend stapled boxes of Smarties all over her top.’
They wanted to know if we got to eat the Smarties and I told them they were missing the point.
‘Your Grandma came as a ‘Supermum’, your grandad came as a ‘Scientist’, and your Aunty, at the grumpy pre-teen age she was, came as a ‘Sister’ and she refused to dress up.’
At the time this annoyed the crap out of me, but in hindsight, I totally appreciate her understated approach.
‘What did you come as Mum, a SuperShannon?’ the girls giggled.
My shoulders slumped.
‘You know what I wanted to come as?’ I asked them. ‘I wanted to be a Snowflake. I wanted to wear a white leotard and a big white tutu skirt and a beautiful hat in the shape of a snowflake. I wanted to be delicate and beautiful and fragile.’
‘So did you get to be a Snowflake?’ the girls wanted to know.
‘No. Your Grandma insisted I come as a Sausage.’
‘Uhhh what?’ they asked, quite reasonably.
‘A red sausage,’ I told them. ‘She sewed me a special sausage suit, that frilled around my neck and my knees, and I had to wear a red skivvy, and she made a special red sausage hat.’
There was silence in the car as they took in the enormity of what I had just told them. They understood my pain at being made to dress up as a sausage when I really wanted to be a snowflake. There is nothing delicate about a four foot frankfurter.
So that afternoon, when they came home from school, they drew me these pictures.
‘There you go Mum,’ the Bombshell told me. ‘You now get to be a Snowflake.’
‘Me too, Mum,’ said the Mop. ‘I drewed you as a Snowflake Princess Fairy.’
My heart broke as I stuck the pictures on the fridge. Three decades later, and I was finally a Snowflake.
A few days later, I showed my mum the pictures. We stood in silence for a minute.
‘I scarred you for life, didn’t I?’ she asked wryly.
‘Not for life, only for about thirty years,’ I replied.
I wonder what sort of damage I will do to my girls?
* Turns out this wasn't my 7th birthday, but actually my 10th. We could find no photographic evidence whatsoever that I even HAD a 7th birthday.