The Head Prefect

The Head Prefect in my final year of school appeared to be perfect. She had a soft sweet voice, she was very bright and it was impossible not to like her. She had one of those swept across Lady Diana fringes with a similar set of big blue eyes. You could imagine her comforting orphans.

She finished school with enviable grades and a place in Law School. I’m not sure of the details but I believe she married another Lawyer and they moved to a town where they had their own practice.

At our 10 year school re-union a few of us were standing around drinking and catching up, she was in the group. I asked what she’d been up to – and as she was chronologically going through the years she hesitated for a moment and said “it all sounds a bit boring – maybe I peaked in year 12?”

It was a joke and we all laughed but I couldn’t help but wonder if she was right.

I was naughty at school. I did the opposite of peak. I did as little as I possibly could to get by. When I stumbled out of the school gates, it wasn’t to university. I think the polite term for my twenties is a misspent youth.

I met a lot of people in those years, what I affectionally refer to as the “pub/club years” as that’s where I spent most of my time. I imagine if Facebook had been around, I would have been one of those people with 1500 friends and 3000 pictures of me with duck lips.

A shiver just ran down my spine.

Those were the years when my mother would stop me mid sentence as I told her about what I’d got up to the night before and say “please don’t tell me that dear, there are some things a mother shouldn’t know”.

I don’t think I really started to grow up until I was about twenty seven, between seventeen and twenty seven there were a lot of unpaid bills, shitty boyfriends, drinking and bad decisions. I was just very lucky that I was reasonably street smart and people kept employing me. I also had fantastic parents and the best girlfriends you could ask for. Somehow I managed to pull it all together, find a job that I loved, and a career that didn’t feel like work. I think the expression is ‘but there for the grace of God, go I”. I was very lucky.

When I look at the Little Travelers I wonder who they will be, and which path they will choose to get there. Naturally, I don’t want there to be bruising and scars – but I also don’t want it to be boring. There should always be things a mother shouldn’t know.

A few months ago I stumbled across a brutully and beautifully honest blog written by a woman called Eden. She’s had her issues, her grief and enough drama for a bad reality TV series and I LOVE HER.

I don’t think Eden was a Head Prefect.

“I’m so glad I’m not married to myself”

“I believe the broken people are the best kinds of people”

“I believe I was going to try really hard not to swear…but I can’t help it”

The Little Travelers haven’t listened to what Eden has said, but they have watched her dance about 350,000 times, I know this as I’m the one who has to find the exact point (4:55) so I can press play.

When we drive home from school now I am asked to play the “Eden” song.

There have been many plans to do a dance like Edens, but somehow the four Little Travelers can never quite agree on who is going to do what when. Last night as they sat around working on a puzzle, I turned on the stereo, opened the laptop, and watched while they all discovered it was recording. I had to mute the sound as there was a little bit of screaming going on. Here it is.

Oh, and a note to The Little Travelers incase you even happen to read this and think you’ve just found the perfect excuse to slack off. Everything I just said about me, well, your Father is the opposite. He doesn’t do irresponsible, it’s not in his repertoire.

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