Cathie worked as a library manager and consultant, and now enjoys a good life with time to explore her creative self. She has recently returned to piano playing which extends her life-long love of music. Learning to write better will add to this development of her creativity. The love of literature and reading is a good background but not enough in itself.
I am twelve and my big sister, Nell, is trying on her going-away clothes for her wedding next month. The first wedding in our family. “You look like a married woman already,” I tell her, “in that outfit”. Very amusing to the adults.
Roll on a year. I am sent to Auckland in my summer holidays to help Nell with the new baby. I am totally mystified, puzzled, and yet pleased about this tiny new niece. I help care for her.
One day when my sister is out and my niece is safely sleeping, I search the bookshelves in the lounge for something interesting to read. There is a slim pamphlet, addressed to young parents, about how to explain the facts of life to a very small child. In plain, startlingly simple language, there it is. What Daddy does with his “thingy” to Mummy. How to make a baby.
Shock, flushing face, shame… I shouldn’t know this, should I? Is it a sin to have read this? It certainly seems wise to carefully replace the booklet in its original place on the bookshelf.
Earlier attempts to get this information from my Mum were fruitless: “How did that calf get there in the paddock? It wasn’t there yesterday”. The answer from a mother unable to parry this question with facts was, “Well, God played a part in getting it there…”
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