Hello Dear Readers,
The year was 1999 and I was sitting at my kitchen table with an empty book of pages before me, pen in hand and even though I had plenty of words flowing around and around like a vortex in my head…. the page stayed empty.
The air was laden with the sweet scent of freshly cooked biscuits, a hint of savoury from the freshly baked cheese, onion, carrot and bacon muffins I had made for the family. Interspersed with the occasional waft of rich chocolate coming out of the oven as the triple chocolate cake I was making bubbled, rose and formed into a delectable froth of air and sweetness.
Mother Lois was in baking mode!
While I had been mixing ingredients in my large cooking bowl, I had this overwhelming urge to begin writing down my thoughts, feelings, emotions and memories. At that moment, I had no idea ‘who’ I was writing to but it really didn’t matter. I just needed to unload the words that had been building up and let it all out.
That day, I began what turned out to be my first series of books for Miss Scarlett.
She, of the waist length toffee coloured hair, chocolate brown eyes, long limbed and of the nature and attitude that somehow I had given birth to her in the wrong era. For she was hell bent of wearing flowers in her hair, anything tie dyed; bangles galore and constantly greeting everyone with ‘peace out’. She was my quintessential ‘hippy child’.
Most of you wouldn’t know that when my children find a name they like, love or appreciate to many depths, they wish to be known as this name.
One day, a miniature version of Scarlett waltzed up to me and after flashing me a peace sign before protesting about the rights of animals (she was 10); she told me her birth name would no longer ceased to exist. As of that day and until she decided to change her name, she would be known as and referred to as: Sunflower Moonbeam.
Ah yes, Sunflower Moonbeam and her equally hippie-fied husband, Jellybean and their equally hill-billy children called: Sunshine Daisy Pixie and Rainbow River Evergreen.
I must admit I quite enjoyed this little explosion of colour and ‘peace out’ that flowed from her. She was a merry child who laughed a lot, still skipped around, hair flying out behind her and still slept with her Big Ted and Miss Lucy at night.
She was inquisitive, excited over the most extraordinary things and liked nothing more than pulling a chair up beside me as I worked in the kitchen and wanting to help. Asking questions and I guess saw this as a way also to get the chance to lick the bowl, spoon and munch on goodies before her siblings had a chance to catch a whiff of home cooked goodies ready to be devoured.
I didn’t mind.
It was nice to have at least one of the four children we had been blessed with actually interested in ‘how’ the food got on the table and not merely interested in ploughing said food into their mouths after a day of playing out in the open air with their collection of fiends… (oops friends) .
If I had known what the next stage of personalities to unfold from my daughter in the next few months, I would maybe have encouraged that little hippy child to hang around a bit longer. But with any form of evolution, sometimes you have to let it unfold.
Just like that, I farewelled the hippy child.
One day, came the latest manifestation of evolution…’Scarlett, of the Irish Dance Troupe’. This saw her come flying out of the girl’s bedroom with legs jumping over the place while her arms stayed beside her torso.
I sat there in a midst of surprise and complete and utter shock as I watched Scarlett whirling around on her toes, dressed in a emerald green knee length velvet dress and festooned with copious amounts of pure white lace.
She had recently watched Michael Flately and his River Dance troupe on television and of course before I knew it, the tie dyed clothes were thrown out, the long loose hair gathered up into a bun and frilly white socks yanked onto her feet and her feet adorned with the closest thing to black dance shoes…. her school shoes!
I am having a giggle as I can picture her flying out of the bedroom as my eyebrows must have shot up into my hairline. For she came skipping out of the her bedroom and proceeded to fling her long legs all around like she had lost all control of her limbs!
Oh My god, my house became a twirling, skipping, knee high, leg flinging, furniture wrecking human vortex complete with a repetitive mind numbing rendition of Michael Flately’s River-Dance being blasted from my kitchen stereo.
Just as I got used to avoiding the flaying limbs, she came home with a new toy…. a bloody recorder! Announcing to me, that she had joined band club and she had to do a SOLO of Celine Dion’s ‘My Heart Will Go On’ from the movie Titanic.
All I will say about that period of her life is…. if I ever got the chance to meet Celine, I would cheerfully rip her vocal cords out.
During these moments in her life, I constantly wrote in her book.
Out of all of my children, I have unconsciously chosen Scarlett to be the Historian of our lives. Something I realised in part, my own Mother had done. Like Scarlett, I was inquisitive, fascinated and a tad bit dreamy about how life had flowed from one generation to another. Who and what had made us into the beings that we are.
It is not because the other three don’t care, but somehow I see inside of Scarlett, a little bit of me and maybe I quite like that little bit. Therefore to preserve it, she has been given the opportunity to access like the other children a lot of memories, events and emotions that normally most parents shut up and never show to anyone.
Unlike many years ago, she is in the kitchen quietly going about making boysenberry muffins with a topping of cream cheese. All without wearing a green velvet dress with lace and her limbs are moving in a smooth movement that comes with years of grace and cooking expeditions. From my vantage point, I also silently sit on my chair and watch with interest and intrigue.
Sometimes her image blurs and I can see and imagine how I would have and still do, interact with the utensils and the thought pattern of how things progress and the evolution of the creation. I feel in those precious moments of silence and enquiry, a tender smile comes over my face as I am hurtled back in time. To the times where I stood in my kitchen, creating for my family and the luscious sense of fulfilment that comes with that time.
Now she is a twenty something year old and evolution has once again played a hand in her life. As a proud mother, I can see and say that no longer is she a wall flower taking her first tender steps to writing. Some 92 heart felt blogs and some 3+ years later, she finally said goodbye to ‘Stairway to Nurse’s Heaven’ and begun her life in full as ‘Scarlett O’Chunky’.
I am waiting for the tears to flow with maybe a twist of fate, making her hand not push the delete button and the simple reasoning of, “I cannot let go of my baby, Mum”.
With my heart in my mouth, I quietly sat beside her as she questioned herself. Before I turned to her and said, “only you can decide Scarlett”.
It is done. She is smiling.
This latest evolution like the rest was done with a little bit of drama, anguish and rightfulness. Not including the need to explore other adventures.
Like you when I read her last post, the emotions and thoughts I felt could be along the lines of: ‘What and where is she going? How can you leave us? What do you mean you are signing off…. NO!!!’ Like you, I have avidly read every word. Sometimes more than once as I have reflected, rejoiced, thought seriously about our own emotions and merrily waited for the next blog with glee.
She is addictive.
However, I am fortunate enough to wake each day to that gorgeous woman, she of the waist length toffee coloured hair, beautiful chocolate brown eyes and generous lips and send a blessing to the heavens for bringing her into my life.
Scarlett, I wish you well with the new blog.
May the world embrace your with open arms, open hearts and eagerness for your written word. May your forthcoming adventures be plentiful and eye opening however no midnight calls of ‘Lois, I need bail money and you better ring Lady Blacksnot 111 for her lawyer skills!’
I love you darling and thank you for the privilege of being given the opportunity to learn about who you are.
Love Lois xxx