Daily Look | The Big Brother Factor

This is a familiar scene at our house.  We are committed to having an open house policy for our boys and their friends, I mean, at Ethan’s age he’s much happier with his friends around and that makes my life easier so everyone wins.  Nixon, adores the big boys and they love him right back – at the moment anyway!

Childhood Unplugged

I’m pretty sure he doesn’t realize it at the moment, but I’m hoping that this Saturday just been will firmly cement itself in Ethan’s head in an “oh yeah, that’s what we did when I was a kid” kinda way.  It won’t be a Best Day of My Life kind of memory, more of the Normal Day in the Neighborhood variety; similar to the memories I have of riding bikes until dark {sans helmets of course!}, playing tennis on the road, rollerskating and pole tennis tournaments.  Awesome memories that make me smile every time I cast my mind back.

E’s rugby coach came and picked him up in the morning to assist in a working bee at the clubhouse.  He got stuck-in with his friends and teammates, scrubbing the tackle-bags, hopefully doing a good job and learning a thing or two about chipping in and helping out, pride in your club and team spirit.  He had a great time by the sounds of it, yet I can’t even imagine what would happen if he was forced to clean anything at home that took longer than 10 minutes – it doesn’t bear thinking about honestly!

Whilst he was at the club, two of his other mates that live close by had popped over twice, desperate to go eel fishing with E in the river.  Despite his protestations, we sent him off to find his friends when he arrived home.  He totally wanted to stay at home, sit on the couch and play Xbox or Clash of Clans or some other waste of summer.  It was worth the fight and the filthy looks as Dave and I knew he’d be stoked within 5 minutes of walking out the door.  These are the battles that are worth fighting.  These are the ones that matter and will have a bigger long-term impact than policing wardrobe choices or riding his ass about every, single manners slip-up.

The three boys had an awesome {muddy} time down at the river and caught themselves an eel which they decided they were going to gut and eat.  They took care of business, hopped on their bikes and headed to another part of the river for an afternoon swim, supervised by one of their lovely Mums {not me, I was in DIY hell with a paintbrush and polyurethane but that’s another story}.  Following this they headed off on their bikes again to the third amigos house where their eel was pan fried and they shared dinner together.

Ethan arrived home on his bike at 8pm with some of their {surprisingly delicious} eel for us to try.  He was tired, happy and satisfied after a day which couldn’t really have had too much more ‘boy’ squeezed into it.  Good, old-school fun with an absolute minimum of screen time.  Loving it!

We live in a pretty special little pocket of Auckland that is very small {at this stage} and still very safe.  Ethan is 10 years old.  It’s time for him to experience independence {within clearly defined boundaries of course!} and having a little bit of freedom on his bike and with his friends is part of that imminent transition from child to teenager that is creeping ever closer.  Without showing him we trust him to make good decisions, he would be bored at home and we would be forever battling the screen.  It certainly helps to know other parents in your community and be able to quickly reach out and communicate with them via text message etc.  If you can find a lovely place for your children to spread their wings in a safe community, it’s worth every penny.

Childhood Unplugged Mummy Blog New Zealand

 

 

 

The Boy/Girl Conundrum

Before finishing off Nixie’s Christmas Shopping yesterday, I was enjoying a bit of downtime getting my nails done and chatting away to the nail tech.  We were {of course} discussing our kids and their Christmas wish lists.  She was so sad to hear that I had two boys and commiserated over this fact for what seemed like forever! I have never found myself lamenting our lack of girl-children, I can’t say I haven’t thought about how nice it would be to have some pigtails to wrangle or some dolly’s to dress-up but what can you do?  We have been so blessed with two amazing boys that I can’t say I feel too unfortunate lol.

She did make a very valid point, one that had already been hovering in my head for a few years;

A son is a son till he takes a wife, a daughter is a daughter all of her life

This really old fashioned notion is so true for our family.  Though Dave certainly misses his family back home in the states, he barely had to think twice about moving across the world to bring his little family to New Zealand to live – because that is what I wanted.  The same is true of my brother, he and his wife are planning on moving back to the states next year, while I can’t imagine living that far away from my mum ever again!

Both of my kids are super capable and self-confident and fiercely independent.  They will leave.  They will fly the nest and do amazing things.  This I am sure of.  And this is what they should do, and what any mama worth her salt will want for her kids.  But if I’m perfectly honest, it does make me feel a touch sad.  I LOVE all of their very boyish traits and their rough and ready, permanently barefoot and dirty attitude to life.  I love the rugby, the diggers the frogs, the constant eating, the guns and the noise.  I’m just not sure I can imagine life when all of those things are memories and my sons are not as close as I’d like.

What do you guys think?  I realise I’m totally jumping the gun here, but ahhhh, my boy babies, I want them with me forever!

 

Who even has a 10 year old anyway?

Life is mental.  Then your eldest son turns 10 and life gets more mental and you just get really  o l d .

On Friday E turns 10 and this means {if my maths is correct} that Dave and I have been parents for 10 freaking years!  What the?!  Double whammy actually as this also means we have been married for, wait for it, 10 FREAKING YEARS!  Yup, we sealed the deal in a classy ceremony in a San Diego courthouse with one month old Ethan as best man – as he has remained to this day.

We have had some seriously good times with this kid, he was our sole team-mate for 8.5 years before graciously becoming the best big brother there has ever been.  He is the kid at school that is super smart and kicks ass in the classroom but also goes pretty hard on the sports field as well.  He sung his heart out on stage last night at the APPA choir festival at the Auckland Town Hall, and Dave was just the proudest Dad ever, constantly sending me pics and messages about his awesome boy.  The nice thing about this is that I sung in the APPA choir when I was Ethan’s age 25 years ago and stood on the same stage at the Town Hall!  There he is 4th from the left in green;

Auckland Kids Choir

Shopping for gifts for a ten year old boy is infinitely harder than then the 9 year old I had last year.  For some reason I cannot fathom the item on the top of his birthday list is this;

WWE Spinner Belt

Hmmm.  Confused?  Same.  That’s apparently a WWE Championship Spinner Belt Replica, which will not (sadly) be coming to live at our house post birthday on Friday.  Wrestling belt, wrestling toy guys, some status update on Minecraft.  And that is it.  The sum total of my big guys birthday wish-list is a bunch of plastic, sweaty men in lycra gear.  Scary stuff.  But, compared to that his real birthday present is freaking awesome!  I cannot wait for Friday morning!