My Family & Other Animals

Elizabeth Byrne nee Glew - My recollections 2

I arrived on the scene on the 8th February 1963. Mum always told me that I wasn't prem, but I was very small, weighing in at about 4lb at birth and going down to 3lb.  Dad always said that I was small enough for my bottom to sit on his palm, and my head rested on his fingers. Here are Mum and Dad in 1962. Mums about 7mths pregnant with me at the time.  My sister Lisa arrived on the 21st August 1965 and was totally different to me. I was a very active, adventurous child and my sister was very quiet and managed to keep herself amused for hours on end.  During her pregnancy my poor mother was run ragged chasing after me, literally!! One day I decided I was going to leave home and move in with the aboriginal family at the end of our street. I ran quite fast for a 2 year old, but my mother (even though she was pregnant) was quite a bit faster and managed to catch me about 1 -2 houses from their place. Another time my mother looked out the back fence to see if she could find me, and nearly had a coronary when she saw me carefully balancing on the double picket fence, with a seven foot drop just below me. I also had her climb the tree at the front of our place, because I decided that I just could not get down, even though I climbed up ok. It's surprising my mother managed to carry my sister full term.
Dad, Lisa and me about 1966-67
Dad and I about 1964-65

My brother Gregory was born on the 3rd February 1968, 5 days before my 5th birthday and apparently I was extremely upset as mum had organized a party and suddenly couldn't be there.

Like most children we got sick all around the same time. I remember getting chicken pox and then measles and mumps. It seemed that it was all at the same time - maybe it was. Sometime around the age of 4yr we discovered that my brother was almost blind.  He had been enrolled in kindergarten and nothing was noticed.  But when he started pre-school the teacher realised that he had a problem with his eye sight. What we had taken for a very very loving child, who used to put his hands on your face and get really close to you, was actually a child whose eyesight was extremely bad.  I'm surprised we never noticed. Greg had to wear glasses that were almost like 'coke' bottles. They were so thick you could start a fire using them!!

Needless to say we all felt extremely guilty and hence started the era of 'spoiling the poor child rotten'. 

Me, Mum holding Greg, Lisa and Dad. A promotional photo taken about 1968-69


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