The View From 48: the party edition

Yesterday I was at my niece’s 8th birthday party, and my mum had pulled out a photo of our family on my 8th birthday to show me, and the (other) birthday girl. 

The photo was of my dad’s parents, my parents, my older brother, my younger brother and moi, taken on my 8th birthday, exactly 40 years ago. 

As you can se, I was rocking long light brown hair, (is that a Bay City Rollers tee? I can’t quite tell) a denim skirt, long white socks, and fabulous red Mary Janes. Check out my mum’s shirt – epically cool 70s! My dad is wearing a singlet because he was, and is, a bit of a rebel! He knew eye-rolling and tut-tutting would ensue, so he rocked that singlet quite provocatively. God I love that man! 

Hill Family circa 1976

The quite fuzzy photo doesn’t include either of my sisters (both now in their 30s), as they weren’t born then. 

They were standing in the kitchen at the party yesterday, one with her baby boy in her arms, and one hosting her daughter’s 8th birthday party. 

As I showed the photo to my dad, it occurred to me just how long this adulting caper can go on, if we’re lucky. 

I looked at my dad looking at that photo, seeing himself as a 38 year old father of three. When that photo was snapped, he and mum had been married about 13 years, he was a successful builder, he barracked for Essendon, and both his parents were alive. 

Standing in the kitchen today, dad is 78 years old and happily retired, his parents have both been dead for decades, and he’s the much loved father of five, and a loving, involved, shit-stirring grandfather to eight. 

His laugh is the same. It’s the best sound. 

Life is (hopefully) a long game. 

Families go on and on, down the generations, from our grandparents then parents being children, to becoming young adults, then newlyweds, buying their first home, and along we come – first child, second, third, fourth, fifth. 

Work gets busy, then worryingly slow; there’s sickness; family holidays; stressful times; happy times; and night after night of sausages and mashed potatoes; mountains of laundry; family get togethers; scraped knees; cousins; ageing grandparents to care for; the children grow up, then move out, and on and on it goes. 

I felt so privileged to sit in my family home on my 48th birthday, with my parents, my sisters, and two of the next generation of our family, amidst noise and squeals and all those pink presents, at my #favouritehuman’s 8th birthday party. 

Pass the sausage rolls dad, we could be here a while.  


Annette x 

16 thoughts on “The View From 48: the party edition

  1. Sounds like a beatiful day and a wonderful family.
    I think I feel the opposite. Adulthood seems to be flying by much faster than my childhood did. Years starting to blend into each other, was it really that long ago? What I think was 6 months ago, happened 6 years ago!


    • It does rush and creep by simultaneously doesn’t it? I guess I was thinking more about my dad looking at a photo from half a lifetime ago, where he was already entrenched in adulthood, and he still is, 40 years later! I think my concept of time is very dodgy, but I know one thing for sure, the hours from 3pm to knock off time at work can seem endless!


  2. Heart bursting reading these words! Happy birthday, and what a beautiful photo to reflect on. I’ve been reflecting on my childhood a lot over the past few days. Happy times, I was so lucky, I am so lucky. A happy childhood, surrounded by an extended family who loved me so much! Life is so amazing. ♡


  3. happy birthday Annette!
    it sounds like you had a great day! … and you’re lovely niece’s birthday on the same day! … cosmic!
    there was not a lot of pretence in those 70’s photos! … love them!
    you look happy and so sweet!
    I’ve been with my dad and sister today and dad marched in our regional Anzac day march! … not bad for 90!
    family makes us who we are then we adapt and adopt new ways of thinking on our ever unfolding journey of life!
    enjoy your celebrations hun! love m:)X


  4. Would that have been an iron-on transfer, Annette? I had an Abba t-shirt with an iron-on transfer and Bay City Rollers posters on my wall. Woody got a kiss at bedtime!! I totally rocked the same look as you! We are blessed to still have our parents in our lives and to be able to share do many years together.


  5. Sounds like a lovely birthday Annette! You could well have a long, long life ahead – we’re lucky that my 8 and 11 year olds (and their cousins) are still able to spend time with their 102 year old great grandmother (not to mention even more with their nearly 74 year old grandfather and 72 year old grandmother. Longevity, well lived, is a great thing 🙂


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s