December 10, 2009
The Meaning Of Esmerelda
At this crazily busy time of year, I am sitting here having a wonderful trip down memory lane. I am feeling peaceful, relaxed and happy. It all started with my Nikka having to attend her Christmas staff party dressed up as a Disney character.
She literally attacked the cupboard rummaging through the old costumes the kids wore when they had their book parade days. I am talking a long time ago. Turns out she managed to squeeze into the old Esmerelda outfit but the elastic at the top almost cut off her circulation. That had to be altered. We found the old tamborine that I remember she forgot to take with her during the parade. Oh how I was so ridiculously upset that she had forgotten. This was important stuff you know. It made all the difference between winning and well, not winning. And, no, she did not win. See. It makes all the difference.
We looked everywhere for the purple wrap with the gold dangly pretend coins, but alas, it was no where to be found. What does one do? Me - I did nothing. The budding Esmerelda however, waltzed in at 3.30 in the afternoon with some purple material, yellow cardboard and purple embroidery cotton. The next minute I heard "Ma, I need your help". Incidentally, she had to be at work by 5pm. No probs. Aren't all mothers miracle workers!!
I won't go into detail about that hour - a little too distressing. The long and short of it was we got Esmerelda out the door and at work on time for her to catch the staff bus to their venue. I believe she was a hit. Forget the compliments people, where is the prize? I am still waiting for this outfit to bring me an award.
I laugh as I recall how terribly seriously I took the whole book parade outfits. The truth of the matter is, and this is hard for me to say, is that really I was on parade. Now that is quite a confession - and I am blushing as I write. I decked out all my kids during their primary school years to the best of my ability. Sometimes I would work weeks in advance, planning and staying up at nights to complete their often ludicous creations. And I was always secretive about it. One never revealed one's character until the day. Suspense you know. For the spectators. But mostly for the other competitors. And my oh my what competitors. My goodness. It was like Versace up against Yves Saint Laurent!
There were several mothers who always excelled at making their children's outfits and who were regularly amongst the placegetters. I was one of those mothers. Sometimes I was so stressed about the whole affair that I would not enjoy the assembly. I simply waited for the announcements. Every year at least one of "my" characters would win or recieve a highly commended. Then, and only then, I would relax and feel good. Sad, but true.
I have often wondered what drove me to the point of obsession with these damn parades. Perhaps it was the fact that I had no mother or anyone to sew for me when I was at school and needed a a costume. I remember those days when I would rock up in my school uniform and feel very left out. Perhaps I never wanted that for my children. Still, I did go overboard. Perhaps I was feeling like I needed some recognition or appraisal in my life at that time and this was my way of getting it. For whatever it means, I guess I needed to go through this period in order to get to where I am today.
And today, here I am looking at Esmerelda skipping to her car, driving out the gate and me wishing she has a bloody, good time. Nothing more, nothing less. No prizes required thank you. Her smile was prize enough.
Travelling down memory lane, I would like to share with you some of my earlier Esmerelda's. This was Nikka - would you believe in Year 2. I think she was six years old at that time.
Pretty Esmerelda standing next to a rather grim looking Elvis.
The following year, Elvis decided to go dressed as Esmerelda. Oh my gosh, the amount of black wool that went into that hairpiece. I shall never forget the tremendous reception he received from his fellow schoolmates and we even had Mr Dodds in stitches.
Ahhh. Finally. The Hunchback makes an appearance too! Is that you Issy?
Esmerelda revived and never looking better!