PICTURE THIS WITH PETRA BAGUST
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,
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.