It was so nice to spend Saturday at the rugby watching the Narrabri Blue Boars and Inverell battle it out on the Boars home ground at Dangar Park. Our eldest son, Josh, plays for Narrabri and rugby has been a passion since we traipsed all over the North West, in his primary school years, for junior rugby carnivals.
Jeff played for Narrabri in his younger days and so we often share the sideline with his (old) team mates, there to watch their own offspring compete alongside Josh. It’s quite comfortable and familiar turf, you might say.
The day also afforded me the opportunity to spend some time with my beautiful niece, Jiaying or Missy Moo, to me. Jiaying is the adopted daughter of Jeff’s sister Gail and husband Michael and she will celebrate her 5th birthday in October.
Having witnessed the frustratingly slow, seven year adoption process first hand, I have followed Debra-Lee Furness’s campaign to have Australian adoption laws overhauled with interest and I was pleased to see an interview with her recently that heralded some changes.
The adoption process (in some cases) can only commence once other avenues have been exhausted and so it can often result in the (unintentional) consequence of ‘older parents’. In Gail and Michael’s case, for various reasons, they became parents almost 20 years after they had hoped. Their lives are richer and their family complete, but what if they wanted a sibling for Jiaying? And let’s not raise the subject of financial as well as emotional cost. Gail and Michael almost “threw in the towel”, but luckily for all of us, they persisted and now my Missy Moo not only has a mummy and daddy, but grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, pets and a brighter future than the Chinese orphanage, on whose steps she was left, would have been able to provide.
Time to reign in the rant and go back to my enjoyable day out with family, friends and neighbours, watching several games of club rugby followed by a few drinks in the club house chatting and reminiscing, whilst watching the obligatory and time honoured “boat races”, also won by Narrabri! Unfortunately Inverell went home empty handed on all fronts.
Jeff and I made our exit, along with most (but not all) of our peers at this point and left the next generation to the usual weekend “rituals and rites of passage”, hoping that tucked somewhere in our children’s’ sub-conscience were all the words of wisdom we’d tried to instil in them before they reached puberty and then knew it all.
Enter reality and breakfast on mother’s day was spent listening to the antics, gossip and dramas of the post rugby party the night before and suffice it to say that some things never change! This included Jeff and I having to resume chauffeuring duties for the trip home whilst the social butterflies caught up on their sleep, nursed sore heads and avoided breathalyser units.
But the fact that they are comfortable sharing most (I’m not that naïve!) of those experiences with us, is something to be treasured. Maybe we did a good job after all.
Hope your Mother’s Day was as enjoyable as mine.