Nobody tells you how hard growing up can be. I’ve been thinking about this for a while, when does it happen? How did it feel, for not just me, but other people too? This is my Mum (Deanne) – she’s a grown up, sort of. And I’m Katie – I’m sort of a grown up too. Our childhoods were different, we were different – and I thought that exploring this a little further would be interesting. From generation to generation, mother to daughter, this is an honest conversation about us, our past, as well as advice for the future and we’d really love for you to listen.
1. Let’s start easy, favourite music growing up?
Deanne: Dire Straits, Mark Knopfler and a little bit of David Gray.
Katie: For me it has to be Spice Girls – I always wanted to be Baby Spice because she wore pink. I remember sitting in the cinema with you watching ‘Spice Girls The Movie’ and feeling really grown up.
Deanne: I still have a video of you singing one of the Spice Girls songs – I howl with laughter every time I watch it – the faces you pulled!
2. Earliest childhood memory?
Katie: Dad is heading to the ferry port, the car is all packed up, we’ve got a blanket covering us and it feels really safe. Since then I always leave for holiday’s in the night, when the world feels like it’s sleeping and it feels like we’re the only ones experiencing the world – that’s what holiday feels like to me. Feeling freedom.
Deanne: My earliest memory isn’t a good one – being in hospital for 3 years – I guess I remember because it was a big part of my young life but when you are a child you just learn to accept that is the way life is – children are amazingly resilient, I was, actually I think I still am.
3. Who was your best friend growing up?
Katie: At various points in my life, they’ve changed. Beginning when I was four in the years of my blue cardigan, French plait and not being allowing to have chocolate filled cake bears. There’s been Romi, Hannah (who you didn’t really like), Karen, Hannah (who has recently got married) and then in Year 10 I found the ultimate trio of friends with Katy and Gina. Even if I don’t talk to them as often anymore, we’ll always be friends.
Deanne: I didn’t like Hannah because one day she was your best friend and the next day she would ignore you. For me, I remembered being best friends with a girl called Lynne, she was very kind to me when I came out of hospital and started my first school. Later there was Tina whose Dad was the first man I ever met who could cook – your Grandad couldn’t even boil an egg! Life can trick you and be cruel – Tina was the first of my friends to have a baby, a son, yet she died when she was 28; when I went to her funeral I was pregnant with you.
Katie: I wish I could have met her.
4. Finally, what advice would you give your younger self?
Katie: Stop worrying about what other people are doing or not doing. The people who you care about don’t care about any of that stuff – they only care about you. Continue to cherish your friends. Stop fighting with your Dad, and don’t be mean to your Mum. Try to always live in the present because that’s the only given, and continue to see the good in everyday. Don’t stop writing. Write about the man sat opposite you on the bus, the first ingredient in those bars that you like or listen to Mark Knopfler and write about what he sees… What about you? Seeing as you are older, and wiser.
Deanne: Not sure about ‘wiser’…but think I would say to my younger self – you might feel lost now but you won’t always feel like that – you will find your way. And as you carry on growing up, there will be other challenges but you will learn to manage them; and you will realise its ok not to know everything. Make time for people; don’t put off going to see them or ringing them because the worse thing about growing up is that people don’t stay with you forever.
Katie: So we have to make the most of it.
Deanne: We do, we absolutely do.