Tag Archives: boys

Mothers’ Day Is Floating Away…

Mothers’ Day is inevitably full of surprises. Not that I’m naive enough to script the day. Indeed, the older I get, the more I let it go. Run by itself.

That says quite a lot, because I can be something of a control freak.

Anyway, as I said, Mother’s Day is full of surprises and usually goes off script.

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The Family with the balloons before blast off.

So, this morning as we’re heading back to the car after Church, I’m wondering why the kids have wandered off AGAIN. I wasn’t impressed! Started wondering why we can’t all get to the car at the same time and why our family herds like meandering sheep…

Trying to round everyone up, I could see our son was clearly distracted. Indeed, all his attention was clearly focused at the sky and nowhere near the car, going home or my Mothers’ Day lunch.

Yet, in a moment which would’ve made his science teacher proud, he’d launched a shopping bag with a Mother’s Day card into the clouds powered by a bunch of helium balloons. I just managed to catch it visibly heading into the clouds like a dream. Apparently, he’d carefully tested the number of balloons required to achieve the desired amount of lift. This was a scientist at work, being observed by an absolute dreamer (his mother).

This spontaneous gesture filled me with such immense pride. He might not have broken any records, or invented the first shopping bag in space, but my heart was glowing.

That’s not something you can count on with a teen, especially on Mothers’ Day.

Although we did manage to get some photographs, he might just have to: “Play it again, Sam!” (Humphrey Bogart in Casablanca). These pics were hastily snapped on our phones.

It truly was a magical moment!

More Mothers’ Day entertainment to come.

xx Rowena

Featured Image: Photo Credit – My daughter “Miss”.

The Reflective Sailor

Not sure what the reflective sailor’s thinking. If it were me, I’d be thinking about where my next coffee is coming from. Even a 9.00 am start on a Saturday morning seems a bit cruel, especially when we had to leave “the Peninsula” to get there. You just ask anybody who lives on a peninsula what it’s like travelling abroad? We’re all inclined to be rather insular…at least, geographically speaking.

Anyway, on Saturday morning Mum’s Taxi found itself feeling rather confused driving the sailor to his lesson, rather than ducking around the corner to drop our daughter at dancing. I quite enjoyed the change and having time driving along with my son and hanging out at the waterfront. Would’ve loved to go for a sail myself, although can’t sail and would need to hitch a ride. (Sounds like I need to do something about that!!)

Of course, I couldn’t go anywhere near the waterfront without packing my camera and I wasn’t disappointed.

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Moody Skies.

Not only was the sailor a little reflective, dark brooding storm clouds also obliged. Indeed, looking at the photos, you can’t help wondering how I let our son sail out in that weather.

Anyway, of course, he survived.

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Looking after the boat. The kids are taught that the boat looks after you, you look after it. I love the sound of that!

I’m so pleased our son loves sailing. Seems like a great stress release for the “reflective” teenage years. After all, I haven’t forgotten what sailing through the swirling vortex of pubescence was like. I’m sure most of us had moments where we’re surprised we made it through.

Do you sail? Feel free to share links to sailing posts in the comments.

xx Rowena

Sleepy Bay & Our Sleepy Boy.

Thank goodness for Sleepy Bay and Daddy to carry our Little Man back to the car!

If you’ve read my last post Tasmanian Holiday featuring our exuberant Little Man on our pre-baby 2 Tasmanian trip in 2005, you’ll know what it meant for the energy to drain out of our little boy and to have a breather. After all, there’s a reason they say: “there’s nothing like a sleeping baby.”

Our Little Man turns 13 next year and is now taller than Grandma. Nothing little about him anymore!

Does this bring back any memories for you? I look forward to hearing from you!

xx Rowena

 

Banjo Paterson…Letters to Dead Poets #atozchallenge.

G’day Banjo,

Of course, I couldn’t possibly write my series of Letters to Dead Poets without including you.  Walzing Matilda has long been Australia’s unofficial national anthem and The Man From Snowy River is an iconic Australian poem illustrating values of mateship and community which have made this nation strong.

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Back when  was 10 years old in primary school, we all strived to remember the lines of: The Man From Snowy River, which has since been made into a film. I remember going over and over those lines almost hearing the sound of pounding hoofs in the metre:

There was movement at the station,

for the word had passed around

That the colt from old Regret had got away

And had joined the wild bush horses –

he was worth a thousand pound,

So all the cracks had gathered to the fray.

All the tried and noted riders from the stations near and far

Had mustered at the homestead overnight,

For the bushmen love hard riding where the wild bush horses are,

And the stock-horse snuffs the battle with delight.

There was Harrison, who made his pile when Pardon won the cup,

The old man with his hair as white as snow;

But few could ride beside him when his blood was fairly up –

He would go wherever horse and man could go.

And Clancy of the Overflow came down to lend a hand,

No better horseman ever held the reins,

For never horse could throw him while the saddle-girths would stand –

He learned to ride while droving on the plains.

That was as far as all my memorising ended up…the end of verse 2.

So, after that rather lengthy introduction, I suppose I should get on to the reason for my letter. Why am I bothering to contact you from the 21st Century, when you’ve been resting in peace for so long?

Well, I have one simple question:

What does it mean to be a man?

After all, for so many years the Man from Snowy River was consciously or unconsciously held up as the ideal Aussie bloke…especially after the movie was released. With his rugged, bushman’s physique, he was Australia’s answer to the American cowboy.While this image wasn’t exactly accurate with most of our population living in urban areas, it was consciously or unconsciously reinforced by strength of the Australian Lighthorse units during World War I.

Somewhere a long the way, the legend was born.

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Since you created this iconic Aussie bloke, that’s why I asked you what it means to  be a man. Not for me but for my son. I know things have changed quite significantly but surely some of the fundamentals are still the same? I’m hoping for some man-to-man advice please. Well, make that man-to-man-via-his-Mum advice.

As I mentioned in my first letter to AA Milne, our son recently turned 12 and started high school. While this is hard enough, he is also about to enter the swirling vortex of pubescence. While I could well have asked Milne the same question, I forgot.

So, what are your thoughts? What does it mean to be a man beyond time and place? Is there something at the core? Or, are there so many themes and variations, that there are no underlying truths? No “Essence of Man” which I could simply put in a bottle and sell?

I wonder…

Yet, as much as I’m getting into this whole writing letters to dead poets idea, I do have my concerns. Thinking about how much things have changed, your advice could well be out of date. Your Man from Snowy River would be stonkered by how much things have changed. He wouldn’t even know what a computer was, let alone how to send an email or connect up with people all around the world via the Internet. He might know how to ride a horse but what good is that, trying to get through the main streets of Sydney now? He’d end up underneath a bus. That is, if a bicycle courier didn’t get him first.

Yet, at the same time, there must be qualities, characteristics, actions which transcend time and are part of the human condition and that’s what I’m searching for.

While I was thinking about all of this, I suddenly realised how little I know about you. You are such a household name throughout Australia and yet I barely know anything about you at all. You’re a bit like that person who’s always been living just down the road that you keep seeing yet, you don’t really know. You just think you do. So, I really should have done my research before we engaged in such lengthy conversation. I know nothing about you the man. You’re a name without a face lost in the misty passages of time.

Isn’t that the same with most writers, poets, artists? We admire their work without knowing the first thing about them. Without finding out whether they’re an inspiration after all?

Perhaps, we need to pick our role models more carefully.

Anyway, the sun has now well and truly set on what was an exceptionally warm Autumn day and I need to return to the land of the living.

I don’t know if there is any way you could possibly reach me at all but I’d love to hear from you!

Yours sincerely,

Rowena

 Notes

Banjo Paterson was born 17 February 1864 at “Narrambla”, near Orange,
New South Wales, Australia and died of a heart attack on 5 February 1941 (aged 76)
Sydney, Australia.

He is best known for his quintessential poems: The Man From Snowy River, Waltzing Matilda and Clancy off the Overflow which you can read Here.

 

Letters to Dead Poets for the A-Z Challenge So Far:

Inspired By A Living Poet: Flying With A Living Poet.

Letter from A Dead Poet: Don’t Sit By My Grave and Weep!

A- Letter to AA Milne

Being Prepared: Dogs Join the Cub Scouts

As everybody knows, the scouting motto is to be prepared.

If anyone was ever prepared, it was a dog.

You don’t even have to mention the word “walk” or even produce a lead. If there is even the remotest suggestion that you might just possibly be going out or even just the thought itself, your dog is psychically already at the front door ready to go. Your dog is so prepared, they’re even ready before you are. After all, with that inbuilt fur coat, dogs are always dressed and ready to go.

Kids on the other hand…my goodness don’t get me started but I will mention one word…shoes! When it’s time to go,there are two bare feet and the shoes are MIA. That is, unless they smell so bad that your nose acts as a radar and you can spot them a mile away. Or should I say, you locate the left shoe at 90 degrees and the right shoe at 35 degrees.

The Scouting Motto.

The Scouting Motto.

To say that kids are unprepared, is such an understatement. That’s why we take our kids to scouts and our dogs for walks. Unlike dogs, it takes more than a few quick sessions at the local park to train a child.

Anyway, it was the last night of Cub Scouts for the year so I decided to take the dogs along to say hello. I’ve had a bung foot for a few weeks and the dogs haven’t been getting out as much as they’re used to. Friends have been taking the kids to and from school so they haven’t even been getting to ride in the car as much either. So tonight was their lucky night. They not only got to go for a ride in the car, they became cub scouts for the night. Now, instead of begging for a walk, they were pleading for a rest. So many kids wanted to take them for a run!

Bilbo and Mister racing the billycart. I just noticed my son is running along with roasted marshmallows on a stick despite being told not to run with sticks. I also caught him running with a live stick ie still alight. Proof dogs are easier to train than kids!

Bilbo and Mister racing the billycart. I just noticed my son is running along with roasted marshmallows on a stick despite being told not to run with sticks. I also caught him running with a live stick ie still alight. Proof dogs are easier to train than kids!

Of course, the kids were terribly proud of the dogs who by this stage, had become instant celebs with the kids. The dogs are also part of our family and the kids don’t often get the chance to introduce them to their friends. The dogs were more than willing cub scouts. They went for walks, runs and as one kid was showing me how he could throw a marshmallow up and catch it in his mouth yet miss…Lady was more than willing to hide the evidence. I lost track of how many marshmallows she polished off and I hope she doesn’t go troppo after all that sugar!

Thankfully, Lady didn’t entertain the children by eating rabbit roadkill or smearing herself with dead stinky fish like she’d done at Palm Beach. I think she knew that you have to be on your very best behavior when you’re a cub scout or even just the cub scout’s dog. However, even a cub scout isn’t perfect and Lady just couldn’t resist giving a few passing dogs a resonating growl. Bilbo preferred to stay with the family and wasn’t sure about going off with strangers, even for a much loved walk. He’s more reserved…unless he’s defending his turf. Then the slumbering floor rug metamorphoses into quite a beast.

The dogs and I at cub scouts during parade. Parents were also told to stop talking and there was to be no barking or growling from dogs either.

The dogs and I at cub scouts during parade. Parents were also told to stop talking and there was to be no barking or growling from dogs either.

As much as the dogs were thrilled to go along to cubs  tonight, they missed the BBQ over the weekend and who better to be dog’s best friend, than a kid too busy running around to keep track of a delectable sausage sandwich. Opportunity also knocks when little hands struggle to contain a snag hell bent on finding freedom between two lubricated slices of bread. If either of these two proven strategies fail, then there’s always the old tried and tested approach…switching on those puppy dog eyes and becoming absolutely irresistible. Even the war torn-stray who was hanging out at the scout hall on the weekend, was looking cute begging for snags.

Two exhausted puppy dogs looking forward to going home. There can be such a thing as too much love. They never thought they'd say "no more walks".

Two exhausted puppy dogs looking forward to going home. There can be such a thing as too much love. They never thought they’d say “no more walks”.

I’ve never inquired about whether dogs can join the scouts. As much as almost everyone loves dogs, there’s always the few, that vocal minority, who commit terrible crimes against dogs such as banning them from the beach. That’s right. No dogs allowed! Bilbo has often complained to me about this gross injustice. He wants to know why kids are allowed on the beach when they fight more than he does and says that he’s also quite aware about “the other matter” as well. That’s right. That dogs aren’t the only ones relieving themselves at the beach. Bilbo adds:”At least, we dogs are upfront about it. We don’t get all self-righteous and then strut out into the surf saying: “we’re cooling off”!!

Bilbo can be quite the defender of dog rights when he isn’t sleeping on the floor!

Well, even if Bilbo and Lady can’t be signed up members of the Cub scouts,  they are members where it matters…in the heart.They well and truly belonged.

Now, to see how they go doing a reef knot. Something tells me that Lady is just going to chew up the rope!
scouts prepared