My mother always told me that when I got to be 12 I would change. Now, I am sure she was trying to hint about puberty and didn't know how to approach it, but I thought it was a physical change that would happen and eagerly waited to see how I was going to turn out** I started menstruation which was different and caused me some water infections that kept me off school, but my shape was the same, and my eyes too and my hair didn't change colour so I was lost in trying to see what was going to happen..
My father often had french students staying over and my brother Chris and I took them out and about the town showing them around during the daytime.. One set of boys wanted to play tennis, so I decided that I would also get dressed in white tennis clothes and take them to the tennis courts. I felt my chest was too flat, so borrowed a bra from my mother's wardrobe, and stuffed it with nylon stockings I found, also my mothers.. The trouble was, that at that time the shape of a brassiere was conical.. very fashionable, but not the right shape for me, but I put i n the stockings and filled out the bra and off I went to meet the boys to take them to tennis. I cannot imagine what they would have thought seeing me turn up with this shape in front, but they didn't say anything just looked askance at each other.. We got a court, and I helped by getting the tennis balls as they spun all over the place.. bit like those kids do at Wimbledon..
It was a hot July day and very soon my ladylike disposition was very vexed with all the jumping around I was doing in getting the ball back into play. I also found my new bra was being difficult and uncomfortable and very hot, so, in front of everyone, I pulled out the stockings and put them in my pocket and carried on! I do know that that caused some funny remarks between the fellows, but I was so hot I didn't care!
When I became a teenager, I had all sorts of strange feelings inside.. also as my hair grew in parts of my body, it felt like my skins was burning all the time and was most uncomfortable. I also had a lot of leg pains, which the doctors all explained away as ' growing pains.. hm mm
Blushing became the bane of my life.. I couldn't talk to anyone without getting serious blushing all over my face and front. It was mortifying and soul destroying and I couldn't control it.. Also the giggling that seemed to come out of no where and affect anything I said.. I had no idea why I was making these stupid sounds and had no control over that either!
My mood swings became really awful and how my parents coped I cannot imagine as looking back, I was really appalling in the early days.. As I have mentioned before I decided to row with my mother in an Italian Accent, have no idea why, but it sounded good to my ears!! I just didn't want to agree to anything, and she used to say to me' one day you will regret all these tantrums and how you were to me, when I am no longer here'- how right she was- many many times I have regretted how I made her feel during an outburst, so she was very right about that. She worked full time, and I did nothing around the house.. just slobbed around as did my brother, and as for helping her when she got home tired and at the end of a long day serving in a shop.. we would just let her get on with it.. even once to my shame I said it was her job to clear up not mine! How I regret those words.. and I know she knew it, because as I became an adult, I told her how much I regretted my behaviour back then...
Her patience was enormous, she had the patience of a saint.. she must have said a lot of prayers at night to cope because I know she needed it! I know that I was a terrible teenager and most ungrateful and argumentative too.. but she somehow saw through all that and just waited until my hormones were back to normal and I was a human again... took a couple of years, but we came through it..
What a woman, my mother was, tiny only 4 ft 11 and half,inches tall, size 6 with size 2 shoes but she filled the room and once you met her you never forgot Rosina! Especially her voice.
She had an operatic voice sounded like Maria Callas and was going to be contracted to the BBC just after the war, but that meant my brother and I would have had to go to Boarding School so she turned down the opportunity to make a name on the big stage.. She had belonged to Ensa during the war, and entertained the troops all over England,but she didnt want us to be boarded, so that was that.. instead she found jobs selling coats and dresses in Fashion shops.
Me being a teeneager certainly never helped her relax and put her feet up..
When I was 16 and starting to go out with friends to dances and youth clubs, my dad would always pick me up afterwards.. Was I grateful?? Of course not, it was so boring to go home with your dad, much more fun sitting on a bus with the other friends as you went home.. I didn't appreciate the hours spent waiting for my return and him going to drive out late to sit and wait for his daughter to drive home.. I never acutally told him how much as an adult I knew his sacrifice, and now its too late, but our relationship was always loving and kind no matter how stupid and awkward I was with them.. Being a teenager is hard work, but being a parent, especially my parent.. was much much harder, for which I am eternally grateful![AND they deserved a medal!]