Wednesday, May 26, 2010


Sapphire is now eleven years old.

Made in Malaysia and born in Carlton. Weaned in Heidelberg Heights, child-cared and schooled in Trinity Gardens; year four onwards in Flemington.

With five months of strangely swirling friendships and associated dramas, Sapph decided that she didn't want a birthday party. All she she required was an ice skating session at the new rink in the Docklands, freshly-made gnocchi for lunch at a nearby Italian cafe she'd been to (and enjoyed) previously and some test runs on her new scooter.

The day was peppered with telephone calls, bright autumn sunshine, numb feet (for the skaters and the adults on the sidelines), chocolate cake, cuddles and presents.

Many hours later, as she'd finished cleaning her teeth, she said, "This has been the best birthday ever."

Seeing the 'Oh no is my child destined to be a loner forever' look of agitated sorrow and perpetual anxiety on my face, she raised her hand to shoosh the deluge and clarified herself.

"What I mean is it was great because I didn't have to worry about being a good hostess or making sure that there were enough things to do, that everyone was happy, that the games were all fun, that the lollybags had cool things inside and checking all the time that nobody was being left out. It was a relief to be with Phoebe and you and Dad and just, well, enjoy it all."

Sitting on the edge of her bed, I smoothed her hair and asked, "So what have you learned in the past year?"

"That nobody ever on TV or in the movies gets into bed and then unpicks their wedgie straight afterwards," she said instantly. "Even if you're just acting, it'd be awful to slide into bed and have to say your lines with a wedgie that has to be ignored."



Cat J B said...

11? Wow, doesn't time fly? My sis has one the same age is is lamenting where has her baby girl gone? Yours is definitely a gem though Kath....if I had a daughter, I'd put in an order for one just like yours. Happy Birthday to her!

River said...

Wedgie? There's an unexpected comment. I love how Sapph's mind works. No one else would think of that I'm sure.

River said...

P.S. Happy Birthday Sapphire.
Eleven is a wonderful age. I remember it well.

Pandora Behr said...

Happy birthday, Sapph. Oh my, her wisdom and view point. I don't think you have too much to worry about at all Kath. Glad a wonderful day was had.

Louise Bowers said...

I didn't know what a wedgie was until I was 42.

deepkickgirl said...

Happy birthday dear Sapphire! Seems like yesterday we were both awaiting our babies, and now, here they are, both ELEVEN YEARS OLD.

You must be so proud, she's a terrific (not so much now) little person with a huge future in front of her.

Give her our love.

Elisabeth said...

My darlings, the youngest of whom is now 16, will not 'let' me speak about them in detail anymore on my blog.

I'd like to trade happy snaps and stories but I must respect the pull to separateness.

It's always a treat therefore to read about other people's families.

To me families, whatever form they take, are the stuff of life.

drb said...

wv : milly!!!!!

ps. Don't know how the brain of Sappho works! Some days she sounded like a 4yo, others she sounded a 70yo.

Roxiticus Desperate Housewives said...

Happy, Happy Birthday to Sapphire!!


Kath Lockett said...

Yeah, she's not a bad old stick, Cat :)

Her unique way of seeing things always amuses me, River. She also has a very healthy cynicism about what advertisers tell us and what is defined as 'cool' that I didn't have at her age. Or even now, come to think of it.

Pandora, I'll always worry. It's in my DNA, my job description and even if I won lotto, I'd *still* find something to fret about.

Lorna you should be proud of not knowing what a wedgie was until the age of 42, which, incidentally is the meaning of life according to Douglas Adams, so maybe there's a connection there?

Elisabeth, I must admit that Sapphire isn't too fond of me writing about her, so I now ask her permission which she grudgingly permits. She's heard me say enough times now in the Writers' Workshop that you should write about what you know, so she's a viable subject.

DrB, she can be all ages at once sometimes which is part of her charm. Yesterday I had to explain to her what 'double entendre' meant and she said, "I won't bother telling that to my classmates because they don't get those sorts of jokes anyway."

Thanks Roxy.

Helen said...

That's true wisdom! I remember reading your post on her tenth birthday, it's hard to believe she's 11 already!

vanessawith3 said...

Eleven year olds are such delights. Happy Birthday Sapphire! I laughed at the wedgie comment because when I reflect on myself aged 10 all I ever remember is that I wore knickers that always rode up my bum!!! And I hated wearing winter pjs with the legs riding up your ankles and getting wedgies when you got into bed. Ha ha, I can so relate to her.

Karen Fayeth said...

I must also chime in with a Happy Birthday to Miss Sapphire! She's a beauty and a charmer...a most wonderful combination!!

My own goddaughter will be ten this year and it puts tears in my eyes to think of it. She's still that beautiful tiny baby in my mind....and she hates when I say that....

Baino said...

Well happy birthday to her. A shame she's having so much trouble fitting in at the moment but It will come. I moved my son to a school where he knew nobody and it did take an adjustment but he finally found his place. Smart cookie that kid. Definitely a chip off the old block!

Hannah said...

As someone not too far past the yearr of birthday parties, I completely understand where Sapphire's coming from (though I don't think I was smart enough to put such thoughts into words at her age). Plus, I was only allowed a birthday party every second year, so I had lots of these 'just a nice dinner with the family' birthdays. Which, mind you, is what I chose for this year.

Quick question, is Sapphire's birthday actually the 26th of May? If so, we're birthday buddies!

Rowe said...

Eleven, yay. Happy Birthday for Wednesday Sapph. Love the wedgie wisdom.