Thursday, September 11, 2014

End of Season Recap

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.


  1. Oh Mel my thoughts are with you and your family at this sad time. You had so many great times with Remy and although he is gone I am sure he will never be far from your thoughts. Hugs to you all.

  2. It's always sad to lose a pet - thinking of you.
    In my humble opinion, re competitive sports - as you say the children know the score, in the same way as they know who is the "cleverest", best at maths etc. And they cope fine with this. However, it's often a different case for the parents who seem to think it is a matter of life and death. And to be honest, if "little Jimmy" really is so much better than everyone else, and destined for great things, losing the odd game won't hurt! (And may actually be a good thing?) x

  3. I totally agree with you about the 'every one is a winner' thing. I think it takes away from true achievement, and it makes it meaningless. If everyone is special then no one is.

  4. Sad times, but lots of happy memories that will last for years.
    I agree entirely about "everyone's a winner". As part of a large family there's always been a lot of competitiveness and it makes everyone learn how to be a good winner and a good loser. It also means that everyone gets a chance to shine at something, which is a good thing. I've noticed at some sports fixtures that some parents can be completely over the top and at times I've moved to the other side of the pitch rather than be associated with them.

  5. What a lovely shot of the ballerina ... and those boys! Losing Remy is so sad Mel, but hope things get easier for you all.
    You have had quite the big year haven't you. It is a reflection on a lot of things the way that sport has changed over the last few years. I blame betting, that has changed things from the big games down. .... .... just my two bobs worth anyway. cheers Wendy

  6. Loosing a beloved pet is heart-breaking, my thoughts are with you. I hope the new puppy helps to ease the pain with his puppy cuteness, although of course he is no replacement for Remy.
    I foster a little bit of competitiveness in my children. Not the kind of competitiveness you see on the side of the pitch sometimes I should add! Unfortunately not everybody can always be a winner, and I truly believe it is important for our children to learn this in a nourishing environment, otherwise how can they cope with being grown-ups? Because the grown-up world is full of winners and losers and those who are plain average and nobody gets a sticker for being average at their job or wins an Olympic medal just for participating. At least not in my grown-up world. In any case, the children I know are competitive creatures, they always know who scored the goals and who won the beanbag race and who is best at reading, and they are quite vocal about it too.
    Your children are all so beautiful Mel :-) Cx

  7. My oldest just started soccer this week, and I although I feel his particular program is free from the extreme pressure of over-reaching parents, that is not the case in many places. Even his teammates have (at the age of four) expensive brand name cleats and color-coordinated outfits... Lauris just wants to play the game. Not sure what my opinions are, it might take a couple of wins and losses to see how he reacts. Beautiful pictures!

  8. Hello Mel,

    I have read all your latest posts; phew! You've been as sporadic as myself at posting over the past few months! Lots to comment on but most worthy of attention: three cheers for your farming project well and truly under way and I am so sorry to read about your dearest dog passing away. So many of us can empathise ENORMOUSLY with the loss of a beloved pet.

    Wishing you a happy spring and lots of new adventures (and time for yourself, maybe?),


  9. Oh Mel! I was thinking of that lovely old boy the other day. Such a sad day when we lose our beloved pets. As you say he's been your constant companion for so many years. He is the reason I found you! Researching whippets from the other side of the world. Isn't that amazing. Thank you for that Remy. Run free, special boy xxx

  10. So sorry to hear about Remy.

    What fabulous photos of your children. They all look so happy and involved.

    Osc should be starting soccer shortly. Right now he is really competitive and a really sore loser (he's four), I'm hoping he'll learn to loose with grace ... if you don't have winners and loosers, then he won't learn this. Plus since he LOVES winning so much, it'd be sad that it isn't celebrated when he does. Hmmm.

  11. I'm so sorry about Remy. I agree with you about losing. I also think it's sad that such a sign needed to be posted. I just had a birthday party for my daughter last weekend and at the last minute, I panicked over what the other parents might say because I had planned two games with one prize for each game. Fortunately, the same child won both games, so I guess I needn't have worried, and should have worried anyway, but people have some strange ideas these days.

  12. Oh Mel, I am so sorry to read that about your darling Remy. Pets really do become a massive part of your history and the family. But a luckier doggy he could not have been, what a beautiful family to have spent his life with xoxo
    Your children are just delightful, love the soccer shots and well, that pic of your little lady in that brilliant blue tutu, is breathtaking. How proud you must and should be of them.
    Now on that subject of having 'no winners' in the children's sport games, I couldn't agree with your more. It IS annoying this recent trend and both hubby and I have muttered under our breath at our big boy's footy matches this year. It's definitely a new thing too, as last year they WERE keeping score in his Under 6 team and they had proper semi-finals and finals too. Much better in my opinion. We have to be careful we don't all become so preoccupied with protecting everyone, that we forget to teach them the honest to goodness facts of life in the process. Rant over ;)
    Hope you are well lovely Mel xo

  13. Lovely pictures they made me smile remembering my children at that age too! What a shame we didn't have digtial cameras around to capture more those special moments even the football gear discarded on the floor! Your daughter looks just like a princess! I too am finding it harder than I imagined loosing our dog too. Sarah x

  14. Oh, the passing of time - I know, the days and years feel like they are flying by here, too fast for me. Eleanor looks stunning, such poise, and your boys just radiate health and happiness. My two don't go in for team sports that much yet so I can't really comment from personal experience, but a friend of mine has two boys (aged about 9 and 11 I think) who are both very into football and what she tells me about some of the parent's behaviour and language on a Sunday morning and practice is pretty shocking....I guess some people just have no manners. Personally, I think it's important to foster some kind of competitive spirit because, frankly, real life can be competitive. x

  15. Sorry to read about Remy :-( That's so sad. Lots of lovely pics of the kids though. Competitive sports at schools in SA are HUGE. It's the other extreme, where kids go for private coaching and the results are published in the local papers. Big hugs, Col x