Prime Color

Green is the prime color of the world, and that from which its loveliness arises.

~ Pedro Calderon de la Barca

The moment I saw the second prompt for Feve’s Reminiscences projectgreen — I smiled. It just so happens that a week or two ago I shared a memory from my youth with my oldest, and it was all about green!

But, other memories first.

First pregnancy

I think I frequently drove my parents to the edge of insanity, as I was a very difficult child with eating veggies. There was so little I liked, and many a dinner I was left sitting at the table, forbidden to leave it until my plate was empty. Mostly bedtime came around with me still just staring at my plate, and with a smack or two on my bum and angry parents I was sent to bed. By the time I turned ten they had given up on me and just let me eat the bit of veggies I did like, such as pumpkin.

Then I fell pregnant for the first time, and during my pregnancy I started craving some veggies. Something I hated before was green beans, but guess who ate green beans and would’ve preferred to have it on her plate every dinner? Yep, me! And up to this day, I absolutely love green beans!

School uniforms

As you all know by now, I grew up in South Africa, and there it was and still is the custom to wear school uniforms. All of the schools I went to had predominantly blue school uniforms, except for the very first, and the very last one. The first had a green school dress with yellow borders on the sleeves, and the last had, yellow summer dresses, but blue ones for winter (I believe it later changed to be blue all through the year).

This last school was in Bloemfontein, where we moved to when we returned to South Africa from Namibia. My parents had bought a house in Bloemfontein, which was the same distance from two different high schools. I had to choose which school I wanted to go to. I chose for the one with the yellow summer dresses/blue winter dresses. Why? Because the other one had green dresses, and there’s no way I was going to wear green to school!

Mom’s (least) favorite color

Now it was in no way a surprise that I didn’t choose for the school with a green uniform. Mom had never made a secret of the fact that she didn’t like green. She never wore anything green, and never had any green accessories in the house. Green was just not her color. Blue was. She loved. Light blue, bright blue, dark blue, baby blue… anything blue. And it suited her, always, and made her steely blue eyes look even more beautiful than they already were.

I think the fact that I went to schools with blue school uniforms wasn’t a coincidence at all, even though I wonder why my very first school had green ones. Although, I might have a clarification for that. My grandmother — mom’s mom — lived in a nice little house with a huge park at the back. She had a gate in her back fence, and when you exited there, and walked through the park, on the other side you would find… my very first school. I think mom chose that school because her mom was close by, and many times my grandmother came to get me from school when I yet again had an ear infection. I think mom denied her dislike of green in favor of me being able to go to my grandmother when necessary.

The memory I shared with my daughter

With the lockdown, my daughter have been forced into helping her kids with their school work. The youngest got some extra work to do, because he is way ahead on his class mates, but the oldest had a hard time adjusting to being at home and having to do classes using Google Meet. He has autism and needs the structure, and for him home should be home, and school should be school. Mixing the two just didn’t go well, and the first weeks he was angry and upset and not very compliant to do some of the tasks set for him.
(Thankfully school started again on 11 May and since he’s in a special school, he was allowed to return full-time, something he loved, even though he once again had to go through an adjustment phase.)

Understandably, there came a moment where my daughter had enough. Her oldest had to do some craft-work and he just didn’t see the need for it, let alone wanting to do it. So she (and she laughed as she told me this) called herself a ‘degenerate mother’ as she did his craft-work and had him show the teacher as if he had done it.

This made me burst out in laughter, remembering that one time my mom did exactly the same for me. It was in one of my early years in high school, and as it was back then, I had to go through three years of compulsory ‘needle work’ class. That’s where I had learned to sew and knit and crochet. I have mentioned before that my mom was into knitting, but mostly she did it with a machine.

However, for my year project I had to hand knit a skirt, top and cardigan for a doll. I loved crocheting, sewing was okay, but I hated knitting. The closer the end of the year came, the more reluctant I was to start. By the time I wanted to start, it was far too late, and in a moaning-panicky state I whined so much that my mom grabbed some wool and started knitting. She finished the set in less than a week. The next week I could hand it in, and where it was perfectly knit, it was ugly as hell.


Because mom the rest of a cone of wool she knew she would never use again: GREEN!

© Rebel’s Notes
Image from Pixabay

Reminiscences: Musings in Memoir

9 thoughts on “Prime Color

    1. I guess sometimes there just isn’t any memories. Who knows, it might happen to me too when Feve comes up with some of her next prompts 🙂

  1. Lol @ your pregnancy making you like vegetables and green beans! I really dislike green beans too. Wonder if pregnancy would permanently change that for me too haha! (Not that I plan on ever being pregnant but yknow)

    1. I think it has something to do with hormone changes during pregnancy, so who knows, once you get to menopause, you might actually like green beans 😉
      But, I have also heard that our taste changes every 7 years, so maybe you should try it again in a couple of years and you might like it then.

  2. It’s funny what kind of associations we have with colors. I wonder why your mom disliked green so much. Maybe she had an associated “green” memory of her own that she just couldn’t be happy with?

    I’m glad your grandson has been able to return to school, and to structured days. School-at-home has been hard on everyone but it has been exceptionally difficult for children (and their parents) who normally have additional supports/services in place at school.

    1. You know, you have me thinking about that now and somewhere in the back of my mind something stirred about my mom that had to wear ‘hand-me-downs’ and one dress she hated was green? But I can’t clearly recall this, so don’t know if the ‘green memory’ and the ‘hand-me-downs’ go together.

      And you are so right that it has been difficult for everyone, and thankfully things to be slowly returning to normal, whatever that is nowadays… at least my grandson is back in his routine, and quite happy with it.

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