Sunday, 10 March 2013

Having a go

The last few weeks have been hot in Melbourne.  We are having an unusually long stretch of very hot weather without the typical Melbourne cool changes that we know and love.  Last Friday marked the start of a Melbourne tradition called Moomba.  It is also known as the Moomba Festival, held annually in Melbourne and is Australia's largest free community festival.  It is one of the Australia's longest running community festivals and is celebrated during the Labour Day long weekend.  Moomba is culturally important to Melbourne, having been celebrated since 1955 and regularly attracts up to a million people  into the city to enjoy the Moomba parade, crowning of Moomba monarchs, fireworks displays, carnivals in the gardens along the river, river activities including water sports, water floats, the 'Birdman rally', as well as live music and bands.  There are also plenty of attractions with games and rides.  Adam, my eldest son, insisted that we go to Moomba last Saturday, just like we did last year, as there was a scooter get together for kids and teenagers at a skate park in the city, next to the Yarra river.  There were learn to scoot clinics and of course, a scooter competition which Adam just had to enter, he just had to have a go!

My husband and my mum (my two main companions and helpers with the kids) were both working on Saturday, so that left little old me to brave the heat and take all 3 of my kids into Moomba.  I made sure that we had plenty of cold water bottles and some snacks and off we went, by train, into the city.  The train was OK, that was air conditioned, it was when we got off the train and walked down to the Yarra River, right into the heart of Moomba, that I knew that this was going to be a long and hot afternoon.  The sun was beating down, I had my two sons with their scooters, a toddler in a stroller, helmets and bags strapped on to the stroller and we battled the crowds.  

As soon as we arrived at the skate park the boys were off, riding up and over the ramps to their heart's content.  I made sure that they were booked into a scooter clinic so that some of the pro riders could teach them some more tricks.  Most importantly, for Adam, I booked him into the under 12's scooter competition so that he could compete in the sport that he has grown to love.  My son will be turning 10 in June this year so in my eyes, he's still very much a young boy.  But what amazes me about Adam is that he is so passionate about the things that are important to him. Mind you, the scooter scene is all so very trendy for kids and teenagers and the marketing and branding that goes with it for the gear is pretty clever, but I admit that he's a sporty boy and gets genuine pleasure and satisfaction when he has mastered a new trick.  He just loves to ride, it's his big thing, so I wanted to made sure that we made it into the city so that he could relish the experience of being 'where it was all happening' and enter the competition.

A few weeks ago, Adam won first place in a local scooter competition and I think this is what helped him to have the nerve to enter the one at Moomba.  He has been riding his scooter since he was about 5 years old, and when he is mucking around with his friends, he is quite confident and a fair way ahead of most of them with his skills. But........he has still has a very long way to go to match some of the kids that we saw the other day.  He was up against kids that were a bit older than him, and a couple of them had parents that owned an indoor skate park so you can imagine that they would spend all their time there and have plenty of time to practice.  There was no way I was going to dampen his spirits though, I was so pleased and proud that he felt confident and was prepared to ride in front of hundreds of people at such a large, public event.  I will always encourage all of my kids to 'have a go' and 'give it your best shot'.....why not?

It was hot in the sun on this day and I had to make sure that I had the kids in the shade and very hydrated. The boys were a bit of a handful, getting them to have breaks along the way was difficult.  Marc, Adam's little brother, soon got sick of the whole thing (he's too busy trying to keep up with Adam and scooters aren't his passion).  Adam, on the other hand, was so determined and enthusiastic, it just made my heart burst with pride.  Keeping little Julia in the stroller was indeed a challenge as she always wants to be part of the action.  So we sat in the shade on and off during the afternoon and couldn't seem to drink enough water.  There were people everywhere, all ages and from all walks of life, as you'd expect at a carnival like Moomba right in the centre of Melbourne.  Time ticked on and then it was time for the competition.......

Fortunately for me, the under 12's event was on first and Adam was in the first group to 'show their stuff'.  It was time to stand close by to get some good photos and watch my little man do his thing.  He put in a great effort and I could see that he was trying with all his might and he did very well.  The other kids were older and more experienced and I had a feeling that he wouldn't be selected for the finals, but that didn't matter one little bit.  I watched as he rode his scooter all over the course, doing his very best to throw in as many tricks as he could.  Definitely A+ for effort, that's for sure.  After all of the kids had a turn, we anxiously waited to hear if Adam had been selected for the finals.  He was standing on the other side of the park at that stage and I had my eyes firmly planted on him.  His name wasn't called out and you should have seen the absolute disappointment!  His body language said it all and he looked at me and shrugged.........yes, a lesson to learn for my boy, he was growing up and had to deal with defeat.........but he was OK, he bounced back to his cheerful self in no time and I congratulated him on such a fine effort and reiterated that the important point was that he had a go!

This motherhood business is amazing.  The feelings you have for your children can't be measured in anyway, they are also so unique that it is so very overwhelming on most days.  I wasn't confident that Adam would get very far in the competition but there was NO way I was going to tell him that.  I wanted to see what he would and could do and I was totally thrilled by his effort.  Not only did he have the guts and determination to try, he handled his disappointment very well.  As his mum, all I wanted to do was cuddle him and plant lots of kisses all over his face but of course that would not have been very cool so I controlled myself LOL!  Not only did we join in on the celebrations of Moomba which is always fun, we gave Adam a very special experience, one of many more to come I'm sure in the years to come.  I'm so proud and with lots of love I can honestly say that this is a classic example of the importance of 'having a go!' :) xxx