Parenting - - In This Issue -

Our colum­nist says it with images

Each is­sue Petra Ba­gust takes us on a jour­ney of dis­cov­ery com­bin­ing words

and images in a cel­e­bra­tion of cre­ativ­ity, par­ent­hood and ev­ery­day beauty.

I ask my­self reg­u­larly, "How is this fam­ily go­ing?... How am I do­ing

as a par­ent?" This is usu­ally af­ter I’ve shouted at the chil­dren or

thrown my hands up in frus­tra­tion at some in­struc­tion ig­nored, or

a lack of thanks for a din­ner cooked or an amaz­ing ex­pe­ri­ence just

lived, but some­how not ap­pre­ci­ated.

It was af­ter one such amaz­ing ex­pe­ri­ence

I got to think­ing about the time we have been

given, as par­ents, to weave our own colour­ful,

fam­ily story.

Each shared ex­pe­ri­ence seems to weave

an­other line into the ta­pes­try that be­comes

our fam­ily le­gacy and can hold us to­gether in

the fu­ture. Th­ese ex­pe­ri­ences we share now

will be the mo­ments we re­mem­ber to­mor­row

and that will live on through retelling. They are

the mem­o­ries that make us a fam­ily.

Let me sketch the scene – the Cricket World

Cup is in full swing, we ba­si­cally live down the road from Eden Park.

Hamish and I de­cide to buy a bunch of cheap tick­ets to the semi-fi­nal,

just in case... Even if it’s not us play­ing, it’ll be good to go along and

be a part of such a sig­nif­i­cant event.

You know this story... the New Zealand cricket team gets a

chance at glory.

We col­lect the kids from school early, pack snacks, rain­coats and

um­brel­las and head to the train sta­tion. Our fam­ily is go­ing along for

the ride. The at­mos­phere at the sta­dium is

elec­tric – the crowd is pumped – this is the real

deal, col­lec­tive hope, the dream of reach­ing

the ICC fi­nal for the first time in our his­tory.

The first three hours are spent an­swer­ing

typ­i­cal kids' ques­tions: What time did the

game start? How long have we been play­ing?

How long will the game go for? This sce­nario

drives me slightly batty. In the end, most

of the hours are spent cheer­ing, snack­ing,

chant­ing, tak­ing kids to the toi­lets, clap­ping

and re­sist­ing pleas for mer­chan­dise. Oh and

did I men­tion ab­sorb­ing the rain de­lay? When the Black Caps are

half­way through, it looks less likely that we’ll win. I con­sider the fact

that it’s a school night and the 8, 9 and 11 year old are pretty tired,

and think – per­haps we ought to go home this time and watch

the end of the game on telly. We put off the de­ci­sion for five more

overs... no one men­tions go­ing home again, and the rest, as you

know, is his­tory.

At close to mid­night, we are walk­ing to the train sta­tion as a fam­ily

filled with joy, and the re­al­ity that dreams do

come true, that keep­ing the faith is a beau­ti­ful

thing – es­pe­cially when that faith is re­warded

with a dra­matic, last minute, win. Hamish was

film­ing us on his phone when the win­ning six

was struck – the footage shows the in­cred­i­ble

trans­for­ma­tion from ten­sion and ten­ter­hooks

to ela­tion, tears of re­lief, squeals of de­light,

jump­ing with joy, hug­ging to­tal strangers and

all around hap­pi­ness. It’s ex­cit­ing to watch – you can’t help but smile

at the footage. In essence we in­vested nearly 10 hours of ef­fort for a

cou­ple of min­utes of pure joy. And boy, it was worth it!

In truth, none of the wait­ing, be­ing rained on, or any other mi­nor

ir­ri­ta­tion will be re­called in the years to come – the true suc­cess of

that night for me was that we shared that mo­ment to­gether. With

the help of the Black Caps and 40,000 other spec­ta­tors, we man­aged

to cre­ate a mem­ory for our fam­ily that will last our whole lives. It will

be re­told and re­called, pointed to as a sign of the close­ness of our

fam­ily. I think it’s true to say that this par­tic­u­lar time, the ef­fort paid

off. All those times you sit to­gether for din­ner, the times you traipse

full of colour.

the troops to a game or beach or an event,

when you in­vest the time – ev­ery once in a

while the magic hap­pens. We were never

closer as a fam­ily than at that minute, and that

is some­thing to be thank­ful for in it­self.

In the clear bright light of day, as par­ents we

have around 15-20 years to cre­ate th­ese ‘fam­ily

of ori­gin’ mem­o­ries. It feels help­ful to quan­tify

the time – be­cause this is our op­por­tu­nity

to make mem­o­rable ex­pe­ri­ences in any num­ber of ways: through

sim­ple tra­di­tions, shared pas­sions or spe­cial oc­ca­sions . All are an

op­por­tu­nity to in­vest our time, and weave a va­ri­ety of great threads

into each child’s story as well as our fam­ily story.

I love my fam­ily ta­pes­try – it’s not com­plete, but it’s al­ready

So far, sun­shine on and off the field. So far, some pre­cip­i­ta­tion on and off the field. So far, there’s prom­ise on and off the field.

So far, sup­port­ers on and off the field. Writ­ten by @pe­tra­ba­gust So far, tri­umphant on and off the field! So far, ec­static on and off the field.




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