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Edition 246 – In The Blink Of An Eye

On Monday of this week, our second and youngest son, Fraser, turned 21. Where did those years go? It seems like only yesterday that Trish’s Mum, Peggy, phoned me at work and said that she’d gone into labour. I bolted home from the office and we did the mad dash down Narellan Road and made it to Campbelltown Hospital just in time for festivities to begin!

I’ve often argued the pregnancy and the labour are a spotlight into what’s to come. In this case, Fraser was two weeks early and, when he decided it was time, he was here in a shot. Having experienced a long 17 hour labour with Callum, who was two weeks late, Trish was completely unprepared for a three hour labour, which is all it took for Fraser to arrive. His determination to get on with things continues to this day.

In an effort to engage him in sport in his younger years, we signed him up to the local Camden Blues AFL Club. Callum was already playing and whilst our eldest continues to play to this day with great gusto, AFL was never really Fraser’s thing. He wasn’t much into the rough and tumble of tackling and the ruck. In fact, if you looked closely, you would often see him dancing around the marauding mess of 8 year olds that piled on top of each other in an effort to gain the ball. A white jersey with not much mud on it was evidence that his heart wasn’t in it.

We persevered for two seasons with Fraser and AFL. A behind the play demolition of one of his own players who, admittedly, just never let up at Fraser’s lack of sporting prowess, was great to watch, so evident of his willingness to stand up for himself when his buttons had been pushed too hard.

Fraser would grab the ball, pass it to his team mates and kick it as best as he could. However, try as he might, a single goal eluded him throughout his entire AFL career – except once. A half time demonstration game for youngsters at a Sydney Swans vs. Essendon Bombers game late one cold, June Saturday night produced his only career AFL goal – on the hallowed turf of the Sydney Cricket Ground no less. He’s certainly aware of theatre and a sense of occasion to ensure when he makes his mark, he makes it count.

Fraser has always had a mind of his own and done his own thing, in his own time. It was early after leaving school, which he wasn’t a great student at, that he tried his hand in hospitality. He very quickly adopted the mature stance that casual hours and gaps in his days were not going to send him in the direction where he wanted to go in life. A traineeship in office administration ensued and after two years, he has moved on to bigger and brighter things.

He’s a neat and tidy freak, just like his Dad. He’s also very caring about people, just like his Mum. It’s funny when you look in the mirror of your own children sometimes and what you see stare back at you.

Today, his journey continues. He saved and paid for his own brand new car at the beginning of 2019 and his next quest is his own home. I get the feeling it’s going to be one of those “renovator’s delights”, so interested in real estate and home renovation he has been for so long. As parents, we’re proud of the road he has taken in all aspects of his life. His huge heart means he’s there for others, even if those others aren’t always there for him. However, he doesn’t concern himself with the lack of reciprocity. Instead, he forges new friendships and relationships that add richly to the fabric of the young man we know today.

So, today is a bit of a self indulgence – to wish our baby the very happiest of 21st birthdays and for many more to come.

Enjoy the time that you have with your children and grandchildren, every moment of it. It’s too short a period in our lives not to.