|Photography by Bethany Hamilton|
The sunset of another year and the dawn of the new brings time for reflection. What have been highlights in 2012 for your family? I think it's good to practise gratitude and remember. Remember the good times, the low lights, the challenges and the ways in which we've all grown, physically, emotionally, academically, socially, spiritually.
We chatted about this last night at the dinner table and the first comments were around family holidays as stand out memories for the year. Being a camping kinda family we spent both Easter and Spring September holidays camping, both great times of memory making & community spent with other families and friends. My four also holidayed with their Dad in Canberra & Victoria to celebrate their Granny's 70th birthday. A long road trip, but one that clocked up the hours for EQ's L's!
From camping to a political campaign that my beautiful four embraced and pushed me forward. They were incredibly supportive as were extended family and community. So grateful for the experience, people met and lessons learnt along the way.
EQ has had a blended year of school, TAFE & work. He has managed to save the majority of his earnings, resist the temptations to spend it on unnecessary things as most of his peers and can proudly say he can afford to buy his own car now due to his hard work. Learning a strong work ethic has been important to him and I am grateful as his Mum that he has chosen to do this. His keen love of skateboarding and surfing filled any spare time and thankfully no serious injuries this year!
Deep Waters being the academic of the family after a couple of wobbly years at school has applied himself this year and seen the results of his hard work pay off. Gaining the HPE and Science Subject awards and an 'A' for his grade 6 piano exam. The hours and hours of piano practise being an absolute delight for me listening, pure slog for him! DW ends the year also starting part time work and has found himself as Mr Independence skating here, there & everywhere.
Thoughtful Princess has blossomed in 2012, growing into a young woman physically, emotionally taking on the joy of serving others as a leader at camp, in Kids Church & spiritually experiencing her own revival starting God circles at school & on weekends. She has excelled in music, playing in three ensembles, going on Music Tour and though sadly had to say goodbye to her saxophone teacher of 5 years, and her beloved jazz band, has thankfully persevered with encouragement despite the desire to quit due to so much change.
Sunshine's year is resoundingly marked with dance. What started as a joke giving up walking and dancing everywhere not far from reality. Sunshine's life one of movement. On average she has spent 12 - 15 hours a week dancing, some weeks double that with eisteddfods or concerts. Her love of dance inspires us all. Her discipline, determination and passion admirable traits that defy even me as a parent. Keeping dance as an interest and not an obsession probably our hardest challenge. Learning to enjoy and not stress re perfection also up there too. Her love of dance translated to 5 High Distinctions, gaining over 95% for every exam she did. She is one very happy, budding ballerina, her bedroom now a shrine to dance! If she isn't dancing, she is reading. After home & the dance studio, the library is her favourite place to be.
Far from an exhaustive summary of the year, only highlights that jump out without thinking too deeply. Most of all as a Mum, I am simply grateful for my children's good health, active, enquiring minds, their incredible resilience amidst constant change in their lives and the absolute privilege it is to nurture their natural talents and abilities and foster new opportunities and experiences.
As we say goodbye to 2012 and anticipate 2013 may we all continue to cherish our children, be grateful for the ordinary, the mundane, the special times, the highs and lows that shape life and our hearts.
Wishing you all the very best of everything in the coming year.
Happy New Year everyone.
Happy New Year everyone.