This post was supposed to be “Book Week Hacks For Those Who Can’t Craft Good” but as I watched my little girl put up with her awful slapped together Possum Magic costume and listened to her Principal talk about how every single person has their own ‘Story’, I wondered what perspective she’d have of hers.
What’s Sussie’s story so far? Compared to the vast majority of children, her upbringing has been idyllic. Her parents are still together and apart from the odd verbal stoush, remain a great example of a loving relationship. She has had very few health dramas (see here for a recap of our snot troubles from last week), enjoys the comforts of her Upper Middle Bogan house and its trappings, has a passport with more stamps in it than me even after I’d lived and worked in the UK and gets to go to the beach whenever she wants.
She lives in an area surrounded by National Park, her diet is bloody amazing (olives, sushi and banana muffins are common place in her lunchbox) and has access to great educators and a safe learning environment. Her family loves her. She has friends. But cartwheels are beyond her.
The world is at her feet.
So will she remember that time when she was sent to Book Week with a hand painted apron, a repurposed mouse mask made into a possum, a sock full of newspaper attached to the butt of her inside-out onesie and a plate of vegemite sandwiches and Woolies lamingtons? Will she remember standing next to her best friend who looked like she had come directly off the set of Narnia as the Ice Queen (complete with tinfoil staff?) or those other kids in their papier mache masks and Harry Potter gowns? Will she remember painting that apron? Or the activities with in her buddy’s class after the Assembly?
Will this day be a part of her story? Will she even remember that dodgy apron and plate of food wrapped in layers of Clingwrap?
Probably not. Hopefully she’ll remember the feeling of anticipation, or the energy in that hall as hundreds of children looked at the costumes around them and recognised stories and characters. Perhaps she’ll recall the magical make-believe games they played at break time or of just being bloody hot in a winter onesie as the Queensland springtime sun of summer beat down on her.
I don’t know what her story will be. But I feel pointedly responsible for it today. I probably could have made a better costume, but time and the sheer push against my hatred of craft got the better of me. We got the gist of Grandma Poss (even if the tail was made 15 minutes before she left for school), and even if she isn’t instantly recognisable, she’s in a costume related to an Australian book. She certainly wasn’t stoked, just shrugged her shoulders and said ‘”It’s fine Mama.” And then stuck her tongue out and said “Look! I’m a dead possum”
Her story is just beginning as mine continues down this merry little path of motherhood. I hope she remembers that I tried, that I wanted the best for her and that sometimes I succeeded and at other times I failed. But I am most definitely in it, being Mama. That’ll have to do for now.
Book week is over! Did you excel or survive?