30 November 2015

A Coming of Age Celebration (Turning 13)

A coming of age celebration: turning 13

A long time ago - so long ago that I can't even remember when it was - I remember hearing Ian Grant (from Parents Inc) talk about the importance of creating "marker points" for our children as they grow.

He remarked that our culture doesn't do this particularly well, we have no Bar Mitzvahs or coming of age ceremonies to mark the point where a child becomes an adult. This leaves teenagers drifting, acting like overgrown children, when in so many other cultures they are seen as young men and women from the age of 13.

24 November 2015

I'm the Mother of a Teenager (Help! Send Wine!)

It's official. I am now the proud owner of my very own teenager. Our eldest son turned 13 yesterday, and I'm a patchwork of emotions: I don't know whether to be nostalgic, proud or completely terrified.

The first thing I feel, as always, is WHERE HAS THE TIME GONE?

17 November 2015

Bringing Christmas Joy to Kids in the Philippines

Bringing joy to kids in Manila this Christmas

Christmas is getting an early mention today on my blog - which is something I usually try to avoid, but in this case I'll make an exception.
This year I am excited to be partnering with the amazing team at Children's Garden in Manila to help bring Christmas to kids who usually wouldn't get one.
My part in this venture started back when we were in Manila in August, and I was chatting to the wonderful Sharon (CG director) about ways I could help. Because the kids in Manila got under my skin, bigtime.

Seeing as I do love Christmas (in theory) I asked her how it is celebrated in the Philippines and she told me that each child has a Ninang (godmother) and Ninong (godfather) who gives them gifts on Christmas. I asked, do the kids at CG have a Ninang/Ninong?

No. They have never had one.

13 November 2015

Cheer Up

Cheerleading is an incredible sport

Today I got sent a link to some photos taken of Miss Fab's cheerleading team at their competition last weekend, and as I clicked and saved them, I felt inspired.

I was inspired by the smiles, inspired by the teamwork, inspired by the sheer athleticism of these girls.

Miss Fab has been doing Cheer for nearly two years - and I wasn't always a fan.
The pageant-y makeup, the skimpy outfits, the glitter and bows - it all felt alien to me: un-Kiwi and overly-American.

There are plenty of misconceptions out there in the world about it as well. Many people are under the impression that it's like the Cheer teams on things like High School Musical and Glee: all pompoms and high ponies and backstabbing. But nothing could be further from the truth.