Sunday, January 26, 2014

Happy Australia Day, baby

Australia Day is never just Australia Day at our home.
It is also the day my son Chase came into the world, 13 years ago this year.
Despite a nightmare labour, he arrived quite calmly, and proceeded to look at me through wise, curious eyes, as if he'd known me all my life.
As for all parents, my life was turned upside down from that day on. And it still is!
In a world of sore boobs, nappy-changes, milky cuddles, and sleep-deprivation, I always felt Chase taught me how to mother him.
What a curious child he was, this newborn who didn't like to be wrapped; who preferred not to be cuddled to sleep; who was so afraid of loud noises, that even my father's booming-but-kind voice made him cry.
Over the years I've seen him overcome challenges with Asperger's Syndrome, ADHD, and life-threatening allergies. He's had to deal with his Dad and I breaking up, bullies, and several moves (including countries).
There have been life and death moments, heartbreaking decisions, sleepless nights, and fights to be won on his behalf. Sickness, injury, good times, bad. Celebrations, tears. All the stuff that life entails.
I'm so proud of how far he's come - and excited for all the things he has yet to experience.
But for now, this was how we spent his Australia Day birthday:
A sleep-in, of course, and even Chase didn't wake me early for presents. (Mind you, he woke me several times during the night for 'snacks' but that's a growing boy kind of story ...)
Our family tradition is the birthday girl/boy/mum's choice for lunch or dinner. Chase wanted to go to a lovely tavern we'd been to with my family on a previous reunion -  an Irish one, as it happened, set in the middle of a country vineyard. How multicultural/Australian?
No more getting away with a sausage sizzle here.
A few treasured family members came too, and we spent a lovely lunch together at Daisy Hill Vineyard at Moffatdale.
It was the Prendergast Irish Tavern, a really beautiful pub in a gorgeous setting.
As Chase had remembered, the setting was family-friendly, and the menu was honest and delicious - certainly equal to anything in the city, but at country prices. Unfortunately for us, they are closed for the month of February, but will reopen in March, so we will be back for another meal and another game of pool - birthday excuse or not!
Then it was back home, for home-made pavlova cake - by request - and a swim. And an indulgent evening at home.
The little babywho caused so much drama when he was coming into the world, still causes a load of, um, entertainment and other issues, on a daily basis.
But he has taught me so much.
Happy 13th baby. Teen.

Love you to the moon and back. And even more than that.

The specials - yummy!

Games for the young and young at heart

I actually loathe these - but the photo has to be taken, right?

Chase and Uncle Owen about to play pool

This is my kind of dessert selection ...

Seafood chowder.

Fish and chips

 A child's serve of banger's and mash

Fresh salmon made divine

 Baby Chase and I back then ... (Look at how tightly I am gripping onto him!)

And now ...

Happy birthday Chasely. Sometimes you make me cray-cray, but most of the time you make me laugh and open my mind to new things. You were the cutest and quietest baby ever ... what happened?


Char said...

Happy Birthday Chase.

Sounds like you found a great way to celebrate becoming a teenager.

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

Happy Australia Day and Happy Birthday to Chase! I love that pic of you and him-so lovely :D

vegemitevix said...

Beautiful post. Happy birthday Chase and welcome to the teen years! And well done Mum.xx

Kaye said...

A belated happy birthday to your son! This was such a touching post, and more than a little special for me too. My dear brother is a Australia Day baby, and I am lucky to be blessed with special needs children :)

Thank you for sharing, and I wish you guys an awesome week!! xx