09 October 2020

The times they are a-changin'

It is 2020, the year the world went to hell in a handbasket. The year of Covid and lockdowns and wildfires and crazy elections. The whole world is reeling with the pace of change.

And not to be left out, here in my little corner of the world, we are also facing massive changes and the end of an era. 

You see folks, my eldest manchild, the one who made me a mother, turns 18 next month.

My firstborn

In November, he will be of voting age (just a month too late), the legal drinking age, will sit his restricted driver's licence (and will hopefully pass this time) AND he will finish school.

At Intermediate (left) and dressed in formals to represent his school at football (right)

My first child. Done with school. Bye-bye uniforms and football practise and parent-teacher meetings.

He is nearly done - and he knows where he is headed.

He has been accepted to Lincoln University Diploma in Agriculture, so will be heading to live and study in Christchurch.

Christchurch. It's on a whole other island.

Can we just pause for a moment and take in the awesomeness of this fact:

My son - who struggled through primary and intermediate school with undiagnosed ADHD - has not only made it through high school but will go to University.

He did it! He achieved this University Entrance requirements and NCEA Level Two last year. It is enough to get into the course he wants to do, so thankfully this year, this dumpster-fire of a Covid-blasted year, doesn't matter.

If you could see me right now you'd know just how proud of him I am.

Proud of the way he pushed through his difficulties.

Proud of the way he has faced down his personal demons this year - and conquered them.

Proud of the empathy and insight I see growing in him.

Proud of the fact that he never gave up, or quit, even when it was bloddy hard for him.

My mother's heart is just bursting with pride in this young man I have somehow managed to raise, by the seat of my pants.

Apparently a Diploma in Agriculture is just the beginning for my boy. He's a smart lad and knows that New Zealand will always need farm workers... but he has other ambitions as well. 

My boy spent Christmas 2019 in the UK with dad's family

He has told me that down the track, when he has a bit more of life under his belt, what he really wants to do is train as a social worker or a counsellor. Something where he can help kids who have struggled with some of the things he has been through.

I can't even.

So yeah. We have a few precious months left together all under one roof. Three months and my first baby bird will be flying the nest to Christchurch, to University and to the big wide world.

Of course he may well boomerang back at some point, but this is a massive step towards independence and adulthood.

With my first baby leaving home and my last baby starting high school next year, it really is the end of an era - the times, they really are a-changing. 



We are well into 2021 now - it's July - and although we turned 18, we did not go to Christchurch. It was a step too far, too soon. We are working on wellbeing goals, licenses and work training, here at home in Auckland close to family, support networks, friends and girlfriend. University is on hold for another time, after some more of life under our belt and we are clear on what we want to study. Not farming, not sport... we'll train and work and do life and figure our future out a step at a time, enjoying the journey. No pressure to live up to anyone's expectations because Life is more than work and study. Life is connections and healing and mental health and building confidence and belonging. And there's no rush - it's a marathon not a sprint.

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