Recent events have led me to sift through old photographs more often than I normally do and I've been feeling very nostalgic as a result. In fact, I've never felt the pinch of time marching on so quickly as I have these past couple of weeks.
For starters, our first-born Child turned 10. Double-Digits! How on earth could a decade of parenthood fly by so fast? It would be an understatement to say it feels like yesterday that Eleanor used to prance around the living room pretending to be a Ballerina in all her uncoordinated 3 year old gorgeousness. Yet on Friday night she performed in the The Nutcracker donning a Tutu for the first time and looked every bit the mature 10 year old that she is. It was a beautiful evening of Ballet with Costumes on loan from The Australian Ballet in Sydney being an added bonus. The following day her dance school put on an equally spectacular show for their annual concert. I didn't manage to get any photos of her with all the chaos going on backstage, but I did snap this one of her leaping through the air down at the wharf while we were having a quick bite to eat between the Matinee and Evening Performances.
The boys also turned 6, an age which always feels like a giant step up from age 5. They have grown up a lot this year and have settled into their first year of full-time school beautifully. We kept them in the same class this year as there was no reason to separate them but we'll reassess next year. The main reason to separate them next year is the fact that they are identical and I think it would be nice for them to be seen more as individuals instead of their classmates and Teacher having to look at the colour of their shoes before addressing them as George or Noah to their faces, poor lads.
The same weekend saw the end of the 2014 Soccer season. All 3 boys love their sports and had a great season of Soccer - winning games, losing games and above all exhibiting excellent sportsmanship. Have you noticed the growing trend in children's sports to not keep score during their games? I saw a photo on Instagram recently showing a sign that had to be placed at their Children's netball game reminding parents and players that "it is just a game". How sad that this needs to be spelled out these days.
I'm finding this "everyone is a winner" mentality as it relates to games both disappointing and annoying in the same way I find "everyone gets a chocolate frog" in Pass-The-Parcel at birthday parties annoying. I feel like it takes the joy out of the experience for the team that does win a match as well as denying the losing team the opportunity to congratulate the winner which fosters humility, good sportsmanship and resilience. Whilst there are no formal score-keeping during the games our Children play, the players on the field know exactly how many goals each side has scored. They seem to love the competition and understand that it's just a game. I feel like this preoccupation on NOT keeping score only serves to over-emphasis the importance of winning rather than it simply being the fun game that it is.
As far as I'm aware neither myself or my friends have been mentally scarred from losing a game as a child. Are there really some parts of the country where the parents are so heavily invested in the outcome of their child's game or extreme pressure is put on a child to win that the child is then unable to cope if they don't win? I'm digressing but I'd be interested in your thoughts.
Finally, some sad news and the main reason I've been sifting through 12 years of photographs....deep breath in...we sadly had to bid farewell to our beloved Whippet Remy after almost 12 years together.
Losing our 4 legged family member has been very very hard on everyone. Harder than I thought. He was our first 'baby', joining Daniel and I as an 8 week old Pup who then witnessed the arrival of each of the 5 Children. He literally came with us on all of our adventures - the camp trips, boat trips, aeroplanes, and we squished him into that tiny caravan on our trip around Australia. He was there for all the big moments, the good times and the sad times, our constant companion who will be greatly missed. Although they didn't get to spend as much time together as we had hoped, it seems Remy was still able to pass a few tricks onto our new pup "Rocket" and we like to think his legacy lives on a little bit through him too.