Saturday, January 28, 2017

Message To My Son - The 2017 Edition

Dear Chase,

How in the world did 16 years just fly by? Suddenly, I have a young man in my life! You really are The Man Of The House.

Don't get me wrong. I've loved every minute I've spent with you. Well, except for the parts when I've nagged you to get ready for school, to do your chores, and to PLEASE put your socks on! And maybe those meltdowns when you were younger. (I'm not sure if mine or yours were worse!)

When you and your sister came back to live with me last year, it was as if all my birthdays and Christmases had come at once. And it was proof, to me at least, that dreams came true.

But, writing this post while you're still sleeping, as I did last year's birthday post, I can remember the day you came into the world as if it were yesterday. And I still can't believe that the years have gone so fast.

Since that day, we've shared so much, and you are growing into a wonderful young man who I not just admire, but I enjoy being with. That's quite a gift you know. Not all families enjoy being together. I couldn't have wished to have played a part in creating a nicer human being.
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You make me prouder every single day, as you take on more responsibilities. Juggling high school with a part-time job, and volunteer work. Helping care for me when I was recovering from surgery recently. Being kind to your grandparents. Carrying home the groceries when I couldn't drive (and continuing to help out whenever we need to shop), mowing the lawn, doing All The Things without complaint. (Okay, sometimes with a few grumbles).

You don't ask for much - well, except maybe for food! But you're a good cook who doesn't mind helping out, so I figure it balances out.

For this year's birthday post, rather than giving advice, which I know I dole out ad nauseum, I thought I'd share some memories from throughout the years that you may have forgotten.

I know you are camera-shy now but it wasn't always the case!


Celebrating my birthday at one of our favourite local restaurants, Cassis at Booie, South Burnett. Not the best pic, but one of the few I have of the three of us together recently. Thanks to Uncle Owen and Aunty Leanne for taking us out that day.


Flexing your muscles by spearing and de-husking coconuts at the kids club at Samoa when you were still an ankle-biter. They gave you a lot of freedom there, and while I was initially a bit horrified at the sight of you thrusting coconuts onto spears, I soon embraced it with the same enthusiasm you did.


Living the high life, ordering coloured lemonades at the swim-up bar at The Warwick Fiji, many years ago.


And always trying something new. Lunch at a village on the Coral Coast, Fiji. Where we ate locally-grown foods with our hands.


Loving our jetboat ride on the Sigatoka River, Fiji.


 Ice-skating with Harmonie at the temporary winter wonderland in Brisbane a few years ago. Just before she slipped and had several hunky men, sorry First Responders, tending to her. (She was fine.) 


Diving into the chocolate dolphins waiting in our room at Sea World Resort one Easter. I don't think I even got to taste one!


Always a fan of cooking, you often posed with chefs whose food you admired. This dude was the fantastic teppanyaki chef at the Japanese restaurant at Sea World Resort when we stayed there. You once included 'cooking with Matt Preston' on your Bucket List. I think the choice of chef has changed. No offence Matt. 



Feigning exhaustion at Wet 'N' Wild, Qld.


Cooking dinner at home,with a taste-tester at hand. 


Waiting for lunch at the Novotel Darwin Atrium (hosted event) another Easter holidays. With the help of our little green friend Kermit.


You're so great with kids. Baby-sitting one of our neighbour's kids, who all feel like family to us.


One of the highlights of our year was attending Oz Comic-Con (PR event). Harmonie and I giggled at the sign at entry which prohibited 'no annoying loud things', and wondered if you should be banned. You took our naughtiness with good humour.


Oz Comic-Con was so cool, but despite my begging, you wouldn't dance. Nor would you allow me to! 


Catching a crab a few years ago on the Tweed Coast, NSW, when I was on assignment for a story. The crab was later cooked on board the boat, and as Harmonie doesn't like seafood, you and I got to share it. It tasted amazing, and I seem to remember you wishing for more!


On theme, catching a prawn in your mouth at the teppanyaki restaurant at Sea World Resort. Always up for new experiences!


Finding your zen with Harmonie in Canberra. You were only tiny then.


At one of your favourite restaurants when we lived in Brisbane, Yum Yum Peking Duck, Darra.


Reeling in another fish at The Ledge Beach, WA. One of the many special experiences we've had with Uncle Stuart and family. We've spent great times with Uncle Dar and Bel too, but I couldn't quickly find a pic for this post.


At The Italian Festival, held at the school you attended when we lived in New Zealand, Freeman's Bay. I love this one, because of the body language between you and your sister. You weren't getting along that day. And that's okay, because brothers and sisters don't always have to get along, as long as you make up eventually!



And another from the 'life isn't always perfect' files. Throwing up with your sister after one too many rides at the Lantern Festival at Darra, Qld, many years ago. It actually looks like you are being sick on her head, but I swear that was not the case!


And happier times! Joy with your sister as you jump into the pool at Jupiters Casino on the Gold Coast, when we took a last-minute break there. Later we went to a magic show, when you asked the magician how to make your sister disappear! Jupiters was not an obvious choice to take then tweens to, but it was off-season, well-priced. and we had the pool to ourselves. I'm not a gambler so didn't need to go the casino, and we just enjoyed the room, the pool, the show, and access to nearby Broadbeach. You and your sister completely blissed out


Taking in the Brisbane River from the Executive Lounge at the Brisbane Marriott, where we spent your birthday last year. This year's was a bit quieter, as it fell during the school week. Though being an Australia Day baby, you still had a day off!


Ready to swim with sharks and manta rays at Shark Bay, Sea World, on the Gold Coast. You'd been begging for years, and the moment you were old enough, we did it. I know you dearly want to do it again, and I hope we can soon.


Milking a fake cow at the Royal Auckland Show, New Zealand. It had fake udders and produced 'real' milk, which was all kinds of weird, but we ran with it


Making friends with all the orphaned kittens, at Sheraton Samoa Aggie Grey's Resort. Don't know who that is behind you ... Cough!


Wiped out after a busy day at Auckland's Sky Tower. It's okay, you were only a youngster then, so you were allowed to have cuddle toys!


Happy times. We were living overseas then and visited the South Burnett only on holidays. Here you are helping Pa-Pa dig for potatoes. Harmonie is cranky because you are doing the digging. If looks could kill ...


Playing cricket with Allan Border (I won't mention that I had to tell you who he was on the way there!) We also had afternoon tea and a BBQ dinner with him and some of his friends.Thanks for being willing to tag along for some of my writing stuff.

I'd love to share some of the latest pics of you, but I respect that you'd rather keep your privacy these days. But I hope you enjoy revisiting these moments as much as I have.

That's why I keep taking photos, even though I don't share them. Because in the future, they might remind us of times that we might otherwise forget. And making memories is important. May we make many more.



And may you enjoy many more sunsets like these. (This one was closer to home, at Mt Wooroolin, Kingaroy)

You have the world ahead of you my son.

Happy birthday baby.

Love Mum xx