It was great to get together with my siblings and my mum and dad for my brother's 50th birthday. We hadn't gotten together in about twelve years.
Along with the usual prickly or embarrassing moments and memories, it was a wonderful time of recollection for us all.
My poor mum refused to accept a lot of the things we said about our childhoods that didn't reflect so well on her. But with other siblings backing us up, mum simply couldn't deny several events we spoke of.
The first four of us siblings recalled not wearing shoes to school, which my mother has been vehemently denying for some time.
"Mum, we all remember how poor we were, though at the time we didn't consider that we were poor. Most of the other kids at school were just as poor as we were and didn't wear shoes either," I said.
"I can recall standing on the hot bitumen parade ground at school in the middle of summer, stepping backwards and forwards from foot to foot because it was so hot."
"Well you all had shoes and must have chosen not to wear them to school," mum responded with a triumphant expression.
"Then why was a pair of shoes for my tenth birthday such a big and important gift?" I asked.
We weren't criticising - we loved our childhoods, but mum and dad have both blanked out many things from those times and painted the memories much rosier than they actually were. I guess that's human nature.
Dad even talked about his mum a bit and about how she grumpy she was. We laughed and agreed that she had a right to be a bit tetchy with nine boisterous and mischievous boys running amok around the neighbourhood. These boys were more along the line of Denis the Menace which multiplied by nine meant LOTS of naughtiness.
Dad also mentioned that when they were in the teens, his mother used to say to the boys "Why Are You Always Talking About Seck?"
Apparently his mother thought the word "sex" was a plural!
Isn't that a hoot!