Tuesday, 8 March 2016

Childhood.

I have just been reading Rachel's blog and she mentions how she grew up  knowing she had to be seen and not heard.    It is true to say that we all have some memories of our childhood which we are sure have shaped our adult lives - and she felt this was one in her case.

I have a hurtful memory - I am sure it was quite unintentional, but it did hurt at the time.   I was a chatterer; always asking questions; always wanting to know about something or other.   My mother was in her forties when I was born, so she would get tired by evening and I learnt that I could help by doing little jobs about the place.  My sister was twenty two years older than me and my brother was eleven years older than me, so that by the time I came along they were grown up - in fact my sister was married.

When I was at Junior School the fashion was to have an autograph book and to collect as many sayings, poems and the like as one could.  There was fierce competition. I desperately wanted one and asked for one for my birthday.   I duly got one to my delight and thought I would start straight away by asking  my father, sister and brother to write in it as they were all there for my birthday tea.   What they each wrote is still fresh in my mind all these years later.

Give thy thoughts no tongue.

Silence is golden. Speech is silvern.

A wise old owl sat in an oak.   The more he heard the less he spoke.
The less he spoke the more he heard.   I wish some folk were like that bird.

I was upset but would rather have died than show it.   I never took the autograph book to school, I never showed it to anyone and it languished in a drawer for years until I threw it away.


 

21 comments:

Tom Stephenson said...

Oh, poor Weave. I am sure it was just to do with the age difference, and nothing to do with your natural personality. Children are wounded much quicker than adults, so they would not have considered that with those comments. Children have a much stronger sense of justice than grown-ups as well.

JoAnn ( Scene Through My Eyes) said...

Oh so sad - the old saying "sticks and stones my break my bones, but words will never hurt me" - is so unjust and so very untrue. We should always watch what kind of influence we have on others, especially, but not only, children. I'm glad you like to chat with us and share your stories - I've learned a lot from you.

donna baker said...

I am sorry your feelings were hurt by the comments and especially, that your autograph book went unused. Unlike you, I was a quiet child: I watched people and listened and observed. I learned quite a lot about people and the world around me as I grew. My first child was born when I was but twenty and the third when I was thirty three. What a difference the years made, both for the children and for me.

Dawn McHugh said...

Oh that is so sad

Sheila said...

It's your wonderful gift of conversation which is so entertaining and which brings
so many of us to your blog each day. Our good fortune that the adults didn't
succeed in stifling your talents.

Toni said...

It's so sad how we hurt each other unintentionally. I'm sorry for that little girl but happy that you got to save up some words to share with us.

hart said...

Adults so often don't recognize the effect their words have on children. I wish you could go back tear those pages out and take the book in for some nice autographs, though I do like Toni's response.

Simon Douglas Thompson said...

Such were attitudes back in the day. Luckily not everyone took them to heart, else there would have been no sufraggettes or many other things where the world was changed by speaking out.

Colette said...

Many parents back then didn't seem to realize children had their own thoughts and feelings. I am not sure why. They missed out on so much joy with their children.

Mac n' Janet said...

How sad, because as they all grew older I'll bet they'd have given anything to hear your voice.

Joanne Noragon said...

The world was so different back then. Children were lovingly tolerated, but not lavished with love. That we had feelings would have been considered, and probably dismissed, in that very pragmatic world.

angryparsnip said...

Just a few words held so much hurt. I am so sorry.
But look at the wonderful person you are.
I had that from my x always hurtful and he meant every word.

cheers, parsnip

Cro Magnon said...

To alter a well known adage; don't write something unless you can write something pleasant.

Virginia said...

Goodness, how hurtful adults can be all unintentionally. Thank goodness you found your voice Weave - we have enjoyed your skilfully expressed views, and would be much the poorer without them. And those children you taught - I'm sure they are thankful too. Thank you!

Librarian said...

How sad for the little girl that was you! I can very well imagine how hurtful that was, and that it made you never use the autograph book the way you intended to.
I had one, too, and one of my grandfathers wrote the same proverb about silence being golden in it!! The other granddad was very different - he wrote a funny poem for me and illustrated it himself (he was a very talented man, his drawings were really good).
My autograph book is still here on the shelf, and when I look at it, I remember what it was like being so young.

What hurt me a lot when I was a kid was when other kids made jokes about my specs. I needed them and certainly didn't wear them for choice, but I was one of only two in my class with specs. It took me a long time to accept the fact that I would always be the girl with specs.

Coppa's girl said...

How thoughtless adults can be. It was just the sort of comment that someone may have made to your mother, too. It was the accepted thing, and didn't seem to matter that it was hurtful.

Derek Faulkner said...

I had a very unhappy childhood which resulted, even as a child, in me keeping very much to myself and is probably the reason through adulthood that I have always preferred long spells of my own company.
I was amazed when in my forties, and sitting down and talking to my younger sister, how much she was able to tell me about our childhood, because I had clearly blanked a lot of it out of my mind.

Frances said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Heather said...

Oh! how sad. We lived with my grandparents throughout the war while my father was off in the Army, and then with my mother's sister until we could find a home of our own after the war ended, so I was always on my best behaviour in someone else's house. However, my memories are nicer than yours but your inquiring mind led to you to a good career.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Thanks everyone. Some good came of it in that I am always careful what I say to children. As a teacher I always found something to praise. I always remember being presented with my first class of 'difficult' fifteen year olds, who were the scourge of the school. I went into the first class in fear and trembling. The first boy I called to my desk had the most beautiful hand writing and I praised it, holding the book up to the class and saying what a good impression he would make in job applications with writing like that. I found out that he was the trouble-maker in the class, but I had no trouble with him after that first day.

jinxxxygirl said...

I'll bet that cut to the quick Pat... I have many of my own hurts that still linger and i'am almost 50 years old... Most of them came from my Mother.. I think the people that matter the most to you can hurt you the deepest... sometimes without even knowing they did it... When i was little i was very good at schooling my features to not show what i was thinking or feeling. One instance i can remember was with my Mother... She too had me late in life . My two brothers were 12 and 14 by the time i came along. My Mother was 38. One of my brother had gotten in heavily with drugs. He hurt himself and his family and i can remember clearly my mother saying to me that if i ever got into any trouble she was running the other way.. i don't remember how old i was but i was young enough to take that to heart when now that i think of it with many years of 'wisdom ' behind me she no doubt only said it in a frustrated moment.. But then again maybe it had its desired effect as i was a VERY good girl and never made any trouble... good grades in school... no fighting.. no drugs or smoking... Sometimes they know not how they wound..Hugs! deb