Most parents think their ‘little Johnny’ is the best child in the universe, from the time they cry for attention on the delivery table till they walk down the aisle to start a new life of their own.
Ours were no exception to that rule, we all had our special talents and whims that they, our parents, loved to talk about and indeed ‘write’ about it would seem.
Letter to Arthur:Jan 1961 (about a daughter)
“She was born in Port Elizabeth, always first in class, so far, very determined young lady, knows what she wants, and gets it!”
Now I ask you, was that a fair reflextion?
Letter to Arthur:Feb 1969
“We have wedding plans – Time is moving fast, it seems like yesterday they were all just kids, now they are going one by one. One day it will be just the two of us again. Although we do have one rebel in the family, who says she will never marry – says – ‘thats for the birds’ -all she wants is a good job and a Mini car and she will stay with Ma and Da.”
It is strange how we can never tell what or whom waits around the corner for us to develop and mould us into the beings we eventually become. It’s not the birth date, or the death date that counts; it’s what we do with the DASH in the middle.
Letter to Arthur: Jan 1961(on the size of his family)
“Hang on a while! I’m not finished yet. During our sojourn in the Orange Free State we managed to hit the jackpot and became the proud parents of a son. He has just finished his first year at school and is very spoilt by his sisters and ofcourse his Mom.”
No browny points for guessing who that one was about!
Letter to Arthur: Feb 1968
“The son and heir has joined the school band as a drummer.”
A hint of music in his make up, huh!
Letter to Arthur: March 1948
“On the Winchester Castle while we travelled to Africa, there were over 3000 on board and as we crossed the equator King Neptune came aboard. There were over two hundred children and they all got certificates. The next day was a sports day, and I put my three year old forward but she was very shy. So when the word GO was said, I ran off up to the winning post myself. She started crying but ran like hell after me and won!”
We spent five years in Post Elizabeth, two years in Gumtree, Free State and then moved on to Potchefstroom. It was there the Dimonds payed us a visit. Two little cousins had one of the spotty illnesses and one was still ill in bed.
Letter to Arthur:Jan 1963
“She still cannot recall having met you at all before you left Ireland!- She has now completed her matriculation. Results, first class pass with three distinctions.”
Letter to Arthur:Jan 1961 (on another daughter)
“She starts High School this week, and if she does as well as she did in Primary School, she will be well fitted for her ambition, that of a bank clerk in Barclays bank.”
A what! To have such little ambition. It could have stemmed from the fact that she was never allowed to be the teacher, the shop lady or the bank clerk when they played as children.
Enough said, a bank clerk indeed!