Day 12

A Question a Day will you take the challenge?

Today’s Question?

Were you a happy Child?

We all have to grow up, and some of us grow up more quickly than others.

I was only a child when I grew up suddenly, a young mum with a little boy, a husband for only  a while and then alone to fend for myself, most of my growing up years were filled with cotton diapers and woollen ones over the top, warm bottles and play dates.

But I was younger before then, and considering standards these days, I had a pretty good childhood.

My brother and I grew up on a Fire Station in Lower Hutt New Zealand. It was a nurturing and supportive environment with families in every flat and children about the same age that we could play with; albeit a mother in every angle of the Fire Station watching all of us, we might have enjoyed lots of friends but we had 20 extra mothers watching out for us so no one hardly ever got away with anything!

The flats were built around a couple of large rounds of grass with a big strip at the back where we played barbadoors, a group running and tag game.

We made up a group when we all got together, but mostly played with one or two families, we all had our favourite friends. The whole Fire Station was invited to your birthday, so it was always a fun affair with lots of food and games and presents. We squabbled amongst ourselves about all sorts of insignificant things, but when we were outside of those Fire Station confines, we were a tight knit family; if someone picked on a Fire Station kid at school for instance, sudden they had to deal with the entire Fire Station as we all rallied around to support each other.

School was just up the street so we were able to walk to school at a young age, mainly because we went together in a group the older ones looking after the younger ones and maybe because at the back of our noisy group one of the mum’s took turns making sure we arrived, back then you could walk up the shop and it would be safe, it’s a different world for our children today.

All of the flats at the Fire Station were basically the same except some were reversed with the kitchen on the right and the stairs on the left, we all had a little back yard, and when you went outside they all lined up perfectly together. There was a large kitchen which was big enough for the dining room table, and had cupboards up to the roof and all along 2 walls, I remember it always being an amazing mountain of cupboards and often envy not having something like that in my kitchen today.

We all had an upstairs with 3 bedrooms, my brother and I were lucky enough to always have our own room.

We loved those stairs, and I remember one year rolling down them on a pillow or some other sort of flying machine, and fly we did straight through the glass entranceway which was stupidly put at the bottom of the stairs! Funny as an adult I can look back now and remember there always being at least one flat with cardboard over their glass entrance way or door, silly place to put glass around young children I say.

Santa always knew what to bring the Fire Station kids and one year I remember getting the finest of all tents ever invented, which we were allowed to set up in the back yard AND sleep in. After the tent was all set up we looked down the row of flats and everyone had a tent for Christmas, and we all were allowed to sleep outside that night!

The Fire Station Christmas party was the best ever, Santa arrived on a Fire Truck of course, and we sipped cola from a bottle in the Station where the dining tables were all set up for us, kids on 2 trestles adults on another.

Guy Fawkes Night, was the best day on the calendar every year, and we always had friends wanting to come to our night, we lit the biggest bonfire you have ever seen, honestly when I think about it, a huge fire in the middle of the Fire Station, that’s hilarious, anyway we always burnt an effigy of a fire man dressed in a uniform and stuffed with straw, the fire was so big they had to use the truck ladder to hoist up the effigy and put him on the top of the burning pile, it was quite an event, and we were allowed to let off little crackers whilst the adults lit the big ones, it was one of my fondest memories. Not anything you would be able to share with your children these days.

So was I a happy child, you bet, I think I must have been one of the luckiest kids, in the luckiest of blocks, with a dad who just happened to be a fire man and we all lived at the place where he work.

What are your childhood memories?

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