ONE of the best things about being a parent is recreating favourite childhood moments for a new generation, writes Sara Fitzpatrick.
Seeing the delight in your little ones’ faces that your parents saw in yours and their parents probably saw in theirs – Is anything better?
For me, these moments include annual ambles through Sideshow Alley – buzzing from The Ranger and a stash of showbags, gawking at fireworks on Matilda Bay foreshore, Ganggajang on the airwaves, fried chicken in my hand – and waking up to Easter mornings filled with more chocolate than Willy Wonka’s creamy cocoa river.
The entire Easter break was special for me as a kid. My Nan owned a beach house in Safety Bay which we visited most school holidays.
I have photos of me there as young as three, decked out in boardies and a massive grin.
We piled into the car: Mum, Dad, sister, brother – terrier and weiro – and headed on down. Magic.
This old two-storey home, tenanting spiders, creeks, and very likely the ghost of my late granddad, was more than just a house – it was a symbol.
A symbol of a cherished childhood because here, and only here (I feel), we were a “proper” family. We were happy.
We played board games and cards, ate takeout burgers and watched Predator.
I even once saw Mum and Dad canoodling on the fraying brown couch. My fondest memory was witnessing an Easter truce (although it turns out the war was far from over).
I still dream about that house. I yearn to be back playing Yaytzee in the dining room with Mum, dusting off sand from my little legs in the garage with Dad and spotting porpoises from the balcony with my sister.
I even miss the huntsmen that popped out from the curtains to say ‘hi’ every time we arrived.
Dad never killed them (I will eternally love him for that). He found an empty ice cream container, beckoned them in, then drove the hairy housemates to the nearby park to begin a new life.
My sister and I woke early each Easter, ready for a chocolate hunt in the TV room.
Among eggs and bunnies, Mum hid a Humpty Dumpty – my favourite festive treat.
It was sheer bliss finding those gems, although I was terrified of unveiling more furry legs.
After the booty was declared we donned our finest and headed to church, then hurried home to further smash our stash.
Relatives arrived soon after with more eggs and bunnies and we would all be together, shrouded in sugar and love.
I can’t give my girls the double-storey beach house (porpoises frolicking in the blue across the road) but I can give them memories that last a lifetime.
Every Easter eve, I hide their favourite tiny eggs around their playroom.
My (unsentimental) husband does it too. It gives us joy to find crevices between the toys, just the right size, whether it’s inside Barbie’s caravan or on top of Miss Rabbit’s helicopter.
I decorate the house with bunnies, and sit two smiling Humpties on the table.
Next morning, the girls wake up early, grab their baskets and rummage through toys, squealing: “I’ve got one!”
After treasure is declared and partially demolished we meet with family for lunch and more Cadbury and gifts, then it’s back on home for more sweetness.
I don’t care if I overdo the Easter treats. This is childhood: and this as good as it gets.
I’m not a fan of ice cream, pastries and Happy Meals. You won’t see me buying hot chips at the swimming pool, and soft drinks are a straight up ‘no’. But bring on the festive chocolate I say.
Bring on precious memories that my girls – if I get this parenting gig just right – will tenderly pass on to their little brood.
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