Being Single Thinking Double – The Early Days

A Modern Man’s Guide to Raising a Daughter

MikeSaid (2)I was born in September of 1961 in Pretoria, South Africa, the first child of Harry & Sadie. My childhood, although a bit of a blur by now, was a happy one. Growing up in the 60s and 70s as a white South African child was pretty easy, education was cheap and it was very good, regrettably I never realised that millions of others were paying the price for my happy childhood. It was this realisation years later that certainly shaped some of my beliefs and behaviors but this is not a political tale and I shall leave that to the others. My exposure to Apartheid in those days was limited to the knowledge that now and again the police would demand to see pass books.

A few years ago I wrote an article on the women who had helped shape my life and I included this piece “Last and certainly not least are the wonderful women who helped bring me up and are now helping to bring up my children. These remarkable women have through circumstances had to give up the chance to bring up their own children and watch them grow to help us all do that with our children and to them particularly we all owe a huge debt of gratitude and a whole heap of respect.”

School, well I think I loved it. Not the academic side you know, I was much too lazy for that. Primary school is a distant memory of fun and laughter and young girls giggling and passing notes. Sport? Well I was really good at chess, pretty average at most other things but thanks to plenty of encouragement and a belief instilled in me from a young age that the only thing I shouldn’t do was not try, I persevered and usually made at least the second team.

In standard five my parents informed me that they had decided I should attend an all boys’ school. I have vague memories of screaming and shouting and NOT getting my own way and so it was off to Highlands Boys High School. I LOVED IT… what a place, boys could be boys and girls… well there were always Waverly Girls down the road! As the name suggests it was an all-boys school and this allowed plenty of time for mischief and rough sports. I had plenty of friends; our house was always filled with visitors and laughter, braais (barbecues) on a Sunday and family on special occasions.

I have a brother and a sister, we were close in age and that made us friends as much as siblings and although there were certainly rivalries and the occasional fight, we were just your average family next door.

This was a time before television was introduced to South Africa so there was always a pack of cards, a table tennis table (usually covered in my father’s latest hobby) or a scrabble set lying around. There were parks to play in, roads to ride our bikes on and even storm water drains to explore, and it was a time of freedom and discovery.

And then the divorce…

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  1. nu? What’s next? I feel robbed.

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