This event took place in Broadford. In October 1983 we left Benalla and moved to Broadford where we had bought the local general store. Initially we resided in the house attached to the store - it was a two bedroom house and there were six of us. The children all started at new schools. The three youngest attended St. Patrick's school in Kilmore, while the eldest went in the opposite direction to Sacred Heart in Seymour. This involved catching school buses, which added to the morning chaos...
As you can imagine, life was very hectic as neither my husband or I had any experience of running a business. It was a steep learning curve and the children found themselves having to become more independent. All appeared to be going well until our youngest was invited to a birthday party out of town. It was to be an overnight stay, so the level of excitement was high.
The day arrived and he was picked up by one of the parents, as we were doing the usual Saturday afternoon clean up and preparation for the following week.
We were shocked when my son was returned a short time later, but the shock quickly turned to embarrassment when the reason for his early return was explained:
"Your son's hair is full of lice and we could not have him stay."
The poor boy, who had a full head of auburn hair, was very disappointed to miss the party. On top of that, he had to endure the Lice treatment, which meant his siblings also had to line up.
I, on the other hand, was mortified to think that I had fairled to see the signs and had subjected him to this experience. As a child who had just started a new school, I imagined it would be a scarring experience. Fortunately, he was very outgoing and good at sport, so, he survived and had many friends.
Prior to writing this I discussed it with my son. He laughed it off and was even able to tell me the name of the child whose birthday party it was. He then went on to say that I had caused him far greater embarrassment on another occasion, but we won't go into that.
Unlike my son, this episode still causes me to cringe.