Friday, January 27, 2012

Advance Australia Fair....

Australia Day 2012 and the following couple of days were a mixture of the extremes of the emotional spectrum for me.

Australia Day dawned as a very special day for the Robert's family, my Dad and namesake, Mr Allan 'Max' Roberts was honoured with the Baw Baw Shire citizen of the year for his contribution of over thirty years voluntary service to his community. Our family sat in the front row of the Warragul Arts Centre and watched with such great pride as our Dad, Grandad and Brother humbly received an award for his endeavors within his community. The 'old boy' is a pretty special character, he tirelessly gives his time to his community and to those within it, he does not give a fat rats cracker where you have come from, what your background is or what your socio-economic status is. He just gives without a second thought, a simple 'thanks Max' is all he asks for his efforts. He got one hell of a big thanks when the town and old friends surprised him with a dinner at the local club last night and an even bigger one when he was interviewed by ABC radio this morning.

Well that's the happy part of this little rant...

When we got home from the civic reception on Australia day I turned the TV on and saw the sight of our Prime Minister and Opposition leader being bundled into a car to escape the clutches of a group of rowdy demonstrators. Lets set the background here, our two leaders where at an official Australia Day function to honour emergency service volunteers who had made significant contributions in the recent floods and fires that have devastated many communities within Australia, these people are genuine hero's. When they interviewed on of these so called activists the comment that came from the uneducated mouth was that 'they are not our heros', well I am sorry but I am sure if it was you tax payer funded housing, car or your family under threat you would be calling these very people who you class as not your hero's.

I am not a racist, I do not give a crap where you come from or how long you have been here, I try to treat everyone and everything with respect. All I ask is that you do the same, if you do we will get along like a house on fire.

I tend to agree with Mr Abbot, the indigenous tent embassy in our nations capital has served it's time, I think we as a community are aware that we need to acknowledge our first Australians. But the time for talk is over and we need to start demonstrating some real actions which in turn result in some sustainable outcomes. We are a multicultural society and to achieve this in reality it needs to be a level playing field for all Australians regardless of whether you were here first or chose to make this country your home. I will not be held to ransom to say an apology for what occurred after the first fleet landed and the proceeding years, yes I do have empathy for what occurred but the time to reconcile and move on has well and truly passed with no definable outcome. I have a thought about how to remove aspects of racism from our society, stick with me folks it is rather radical...wait for it. How about we remove the question that is on every form we fill out, "are you of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander decent?" Racism to me is the promotion/neglect of one race or creed over another. The health and social welfare budget for indigenous Australians per head of population is 3 to 4 times that of the rest of Australia, how is this equal. Is it fair that we have crumbling State hospital systems and on the other hand we are pouring money into the Aboriginal health system, why cant we just have one well funded health system that treats all Australians in a fair and compassionate manner? We have Aboriginal co-ops and groups that cannot account for millions of dollars of missing money and funding, if we as a taxpayers wanted this to be investigated or audited we would be labelled as racist or inflammatory. But this is not the case, the law is the law and it should be applied fairly and equally to all Australians.

I am not saying we should not acknowledge that some aspects of indigenous health, social welfare and education are different to mainstream Australia but surely by actioning these within a secular system it would promote understanding and tolerance. But by having separate school, medical and social welfare programs we are creating a wall that prevents social inclusion and the achievement of a harmonious society. I know at my son's  school the history and culture of our indigenous Australians is taught, and rightly so. It is important that we understand our past, but we also need to understand and acknowledge all the other cultures that have bought so much to this great country we call home and who have chosen to become a part of our society. To me it appears that certain aspects of our indigenous society will never want to integrate and will always be hell bent on being militant, calling for Aboriginal sovereignty, great idea in theory but who is going to fund it???? Unfortunately decades of poor management of indigenous affairs has led to a severe welfare mentality and a 'you owe me' attitude. I am sorry I owe you diddly squat, I have studied and worked hard to get where I am, you owe it to yourself and your community to achieve and better yourself. Opportunities within education are plentiful in this country, the only thing stopping certain sectors within the indigenous community is the above attitude, a sense of reverse racism for the want of a better term. To the young lass who was on the front page of every paper proudly displaying our Prime Ministers shoe, how about you buy a matching one and get a job, become a role model within your community by demonstrating that you can acknowledge your culture but also achieve within society as a whole.

To see the flag that my Grandfather fought under in WW2, the flag that my Dad's uncle fought and died under in WW1 and flag that my Father in-law pledged allegiance to when he became an Australian citizen being burnt made my stomach turn. Especially when it was being lit by a 15yr old girl, how sad...did she really have a concept of what she was doing or was she being spurred along by militant and ungrateful Australians? Imagine if that flag had fallen and Australia was invaded in the North during WW2, I wonder where our indigenous society would be now?

I am not racist....I am just an Australian.

Rant over

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

A Mothers Love....

Reader warning, this is a meaty one folks, you might want to boil the kettle, make a cuppa and grab a couple of tim tams before commencement...

I was not the easiest child to raise, I can admit that when I look back at my childhood.  Yes I did set fire to the side of my grandma's house, yes I ran an illegal book on the Melbourne Cup in grade 6, yes I did set the garage on fire during my home made bomb making phase and yes there was a small bush fire behind the Trafalgar footy ground one summer that was strangely unexplained....and no I am not a pyromaniac.

From my last blog you got the picture that my life was not always beer and skittles, it was bloody hard and I hurt like hell from prepubescence through to early adulthood, is was more sheer good luck than good management that I came out the other side.

My parents divorced when I was four and I vividly remember the day we moved into my Grandma's house because my sisters dog whelped a litter of pups on the day of the move.  My Grandma raised me and my sister while my Mum worked to support us.  My Grandma's name was Hazel and she was one of the most independent, zany and loving women I have ever had the pleasure of knowing, she is also one of the few women that I have unreservedly loved.  She passed away 7 odd years ago and I still miss her everyday, she was the one who taught me how to fish, how to bet on the horses but more importantly showed me what compassion, understanding, forgiveness and belief in others meant, traits that I did not always understand as a child but are irreplaceable as a parent.  As a look back I think have come to the conclusion that as the strong relationship developed with my Grandma my relationship with my mother declined in corresponding amounts.  Mum searched for her inner peace via religion and new love, my sister's and my life was left in turmoil as we tried to understand why our Dad was not around, and how to accept the new man in our Mums life. Change is never an easy thing to deal with as a kid, my Grandma was my rock.

Do not get me wrong, I do not want to come across as selfish or ungrateful, I respect my Mum and I am thankful for the life she provided for us.  But....and this is the big but, I do not know how to love my Mum, it is not that I do not love her, I just struggle with the concept of loving her, so to speak. I would like to say that my mum and stepdad supported the decisions or paths in my life that I wanted to take, but I cannot say that this was the case.  Freedom of choice and creative licence was not something that was exercised in my home as a teenager, stern direction and predetermined choices where the order of the day. Was this reason why I rebelled and cocked up most of my early adulthood?  Fair chance that it was part of the symptomology of the cancerous existence I lived during that chapter of my life . I still take overall responsibility for that period of my life but sometimes environment does have an effect on ones outcomes in life and lack of support and understanding from those that you assumed would support you can make for a long road back to recovery.

So what has bought on this latest review of my relationship of my parents? Lets just say in the past there has been some absolute doozies of arguments and disagreement between myself and my mum and stepdad, the majority of them were mainly my doing.  But in saying that the majority of them were from when I was an irresponsible twit of a teenager.  One argument that does stick in my mind was when I was told that a leopard never changes it spots...after rummaging through my Kipling book collection I determined that my mum and stepdad must not have had a lot of faith in me, which bloody well hurt and still does.  The latest installment centred around my parents annual pilgrimage to warmer weather during the winter months and the decision of my wife and myself to have our youngest boys naming day 2 weeks after their scheduled leave date.  Just a little back picture for you folks, I have three boys all born in July, the youngest on the 20th and the two eldest on the 30th, my mum and stepdad have been present for one birth and one birthday in the 6 years that the boys have been around.  But back to the naming day issue, several months notice was given to my mum and stepdad of our intention to hold the naming day on the youngest's first birthday, this would have required them to put back their trip by a miserly two weeks, something which did not occur.  The naming day went ahead and it was a great day, just minus the majority of my family.  Upon return from their annual odyssey several months later we received a phone call and a request to have a family chat as they had some issues that they wanted to discuss.  The basic upshot was that they felt upset that they were not included in the naming day and we should have changed the day so as they could have attended. Well folks at that point Mt St Allan erupted and 10 years of anger, disappointment and rage erupted.  I am sorry mum that me and the missus had the audacity to have our children born in the month that you take holidays, heaven forbid that your postpone your trip by two weeks to attend a significant family milestone...but that is right why start now when it has not been a factor for the last six years.  Also my sincere apologies that one of the people we choose as a godparent would not have been available after July to undertake his role.  This was countered with the "we feel like we are not your priority anymore."  Well sorry mum, you have slipped down the list of importance three rungs, namely Lachlan, Mason and Hunter and I am sorry if you feel that way but my main priority in life is my children, surely as a parent you would understand this.  But then again, maybe you don't, because if you did we would not be having this argument.  Dialogue rapidly fell to pieces and threats were made which resulted in me advising my mum and stepdad to leave as I do not take to kindly to being physically threatened in my home or having my wife's honesty questioned.  Needless to say things have not improved greatly over the last month since the argument. I am being stubborn holding my ground on this issue, or am I maintaining the family structure and relationship that I wished I had as a child?

So where does this leave the relationship I have with my mum and stepdad, to be honest I do not know.  One of the last comments my mum made before leaving was that her loyalty lay with my stepdad and my wife's loyalty lay with me.  Well that's fine, but as my wife pointed out, yes her loyalty may be with me but she also has the perceptual awareness to point out when I have been an ass.  My parting comment was that as a parent I will always have loyalty to my children, no matter what occurs I will be there to support and help them, something that I wish I had as a teenager and guess what Mum, a leopard can change its spots.  I also know I am not going to apologise for my actions in asking someone to leave my house when they threaten me, nor am I going to apologise to someone who questioned my wife's honesty.  I am also not going to feel guilty for putting the needs of my children first, something that every parent would do, I do not expect you to understand this-but hang on, aren't you parents also?

Rant Over.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Where did I come from....

Hello folks...I am back and still continuing on my voyage of self discovery and inner musings via the way of my weekly rant. Sorry for the delay but slight technical problem, one of the silent assassins, who are other wise known as my three boys decided to destroy the plug on the laptops AC adapter, no power = no blog. Almost thought I might have had to resort to a pen and paper for my weekly rantings.

But again I wander from my initial thoughts and purpose.

I was recently invited by an old friend to join an online group of writers/bloggers and one of the first questions posted by a member of the group was in regards to everyones background and where our motivation lies, which did get me thinking a bit about my past, present and future and as to why I have suddenly decided  taken up writing.

Firstly I am a bloke, born in the early seventies and dragged up in the late eighties and early nineties. A devotee of the Smiths, Morrisey, The Cure, The Housemartins and the Beautiful South to name a few. I was there the night Darren Millane took his last ride after a night at the Tunnel. I was around when disco bickies flooded Australia and our inhibitions disappeared on a wave of euphoria. My discovery of Johnnie Walker in the early nineties lead to the first major rise in a stock price caused by one individuals personal consumption. I had a highly addictive personality and had scant disregard for myself and others well being. Commitment was something that I feared and emotions were something to be suppressed and not shared. These feelings were caused by my own naivety and substantially by an all to unwanted intimate experience within the confines of the local church at an early age, if you follow my drift. I was hell bent on living a life of excess and personal gratification, in other words I was a male tart with a commitment phobia and addiction issues, not exactly the type of bloke any decent woman would take home to Mum and Dad. To say that I was not always honest with others and myself would be akin to actually believing that the Iraq wars were not based upon control over the oil industry. My life at that stage was about denial and doing my utmost to obliterate memories of where I came from and who I was by any means possible.

I remember someone once telling me that I was the most intelligent bloke they knew but in saying that I also had the compensity to make the dumbest decisions they had ever seen, in hindsight they were bang on. I was an absolute spanker for the majority of my late teenage and early adulthood years. So what has changed, if anything I hear your minds asking? Well for one, I made a decision when I was in my mid 20's that resulted in my father seeing me in a state that no parent should have to see their child in. I do not know if it was the look of pity, disgust, shame or failure that I saw in my Dads eyes that day, it could have been a mixture of all of the them. But it was something that I did not wish to see ever again as his look made me feel those exact same emotions and for the first time in a long time I actually thought about the impact of my actions on those around me. I am not going to sit here and say that I clicked my fingers or rubbed my belly and magically everything was better. I stumbled and faltered many times, there were relapses and failed relationships, I would panic and close up/off and hope that the other person would get sick of me and leave before I hurt them via the way of my selfish acts. Yes I know it sounds crazy but it seemed to work in my mind, I hated confrontation, but by doing the above actions I created the exact bloody scenario I was trying to avoid. Men and their stupid right sided it would end up in me disappearing as I deemed this was the best course of action in my dumb male head for the avoidance of any perceived potential conflict.

But with the stumbles and falls came a resolve to overcome and succeed, I am incredibly stubborn by nature, just ask anyone close to me, my addictive personality developed into a competitive, success driven persona. I actually realised that talking and letting things out can be of some use, startling isn't, maybe they should develop a science on this theory and call it Psychology. My hold on life and the world I lived in slowly began to firm up, demons from the past were excised and plans were put in place to move forward. You could say I had almost found calm and inner peace, or maybe I had actually became confident and comfortable in my own skin. What ever had finally gelled gave me the determination to keep looking up and forward and not be scared anymore, it was time to live my life. So is this latest musing of mine an apology to those that I let down and hurt, or is it the final piece of my therapy, that is having the courage to write about and acknowledge my past? I think it is a blend of both. Am I scared that i am putting this out in a public forum? My answer to this question is no, this is where I came from....I may not be proud of my past but it did make me who I am now and for that I am thankful in a strange sort of way.

So what keeps the SS Allan steaming forward, simple, the love of a good woman and three beautiful sons. I am not going to delve headlong into a synopsis on my relationship, or my boys as I will keep those for another day. But I will say that if I ever felt the old personality traits beginning to surface all I would need to do to quell the fires would be to have a peek into either of my boys rooms as they are sleeping. Motivation does not come any stronger than that.

Like Norman Cook of The Housemartins who morphed into the artist we know now as Fatboy Slim, people do have the ability to develop, evolve and change, even people like me...

Rant over...

Saturday, June 11, 2011

What the.....

Now folks please let me apologise for the title, frankly I was a bit speechless when I came across the particular article that is the subject of my current rant, but that has been suitably rectified and I have found my voice again, so to speak....thank the lord I can hear you saying. We are going to digress a little this week and hark back to my first blog and into another rant on parenting, or lack of.

But back to the article in focus this week, the title in question that was responsible for rendering me speechless went as follows, "UK Mum buys seven year old daughter a boob job for her birthday". Jesus, Joseph, Mary and the wee little donkey, what the fire truck is going on here...has the world gone mad? Now I am normally proud of my ancestral heritage and the fact that I can count on my stoic British cousins to uphold dignity and common sense in this crazy world we live in, so I read on further. Nope it was wasn't those wacky Beckhams up to mischief again, I kept reading, definitely not a promo for the next series of Little Britain either. Bugger me this is for real, I am sorry to my dedicated British follower, but it looks like my ancestral heritage is French for the next month or so.

The person responsible for this fine example of modern parenting technique is one Sarah Burge, who is described in the press as the "human barbie" and has allegedly spent £500,000 on surgical enhancements to herself. First warning sign, anyone that needs that much work done probably has some severe mental health issues in regards to where their place in the world is, and might not be the best role model for a young child. Do not get me wrong I am not against plastic surgery, I love a good boob job as much as the next bloke, but half a million quid of work, has this woman heard of the saying "you cannot turn a sows ear into a silk purse"? The next warning sign to spill forth from this mother of the year contender was reported as following. "Poppy(the child in question) isn’t interested in bouncy castles or pass the parcel, so I splashed out on something a little more grown-up," her mother, who hosts swinging parties and writes erotic novels, told journalists. What the....swingers parties, erotic novels. Imagine the conversations around that dinner table, "what did you get up to today Mummy"?  "Well sweety I trussed up this old geezer, gave him a right caning while I had my favourite latex suit on, your Daddy was sitting quietly in the corner, then I thought what a cracker of a story line that would make for my next novel."  Can you see where my title came from now?

 I have looked through history in an attempt to find other fine examples of appropriate gifts given to kids from their parents. A young Robert Mugabe was given a book titled  'Genocide for Dummies' on his seventh birthday no repercussions there....and George Bush Jnr was given a copy of  'logical thinking and its applications for public speaking' for one of his formative years birthdays...again money well spent. Ms Burge went on to say that the present in question was via the way of a voucher for when young Poppy turns 16, thank god for that, the thought of a seven year old running around with a set of hooters bigger than her head was a trifle disturbing. Heaven forbid that this child is bought up in a supportive caring environment and taught that beauty and confidence starts from the inside and not via the way of a surgical procedure. If later on in life a person decides that they want to head down this path for whatever reason so be it, but once again let kids be kids and parents be bloody parents.

Now Ms Burge I have a few words for you, some them are not fit for publishing here due to the fact that I want this blog to be accessible to all ages, but there are some left that I will use. Self serving, ignorant, lacking the basics of moral fibre and just plain bloody stupid. I am sure your eyes would be wide open due to the amount of botox you would have had(probably enough procedures to make even the skin of the saggy baggy elephant taut), so how about you use them. Your primary role is to be a parent to your child, to love them and guide them as they grow up and let them know it is ok to be a kid. Your child should be enjoying pass the parcel and bouncy castles for her seventh birthday, not a a £12,000 ‘exotic pamper party’, which included manicures in the back of a pink bus. For goodness sake Ms Burge you should be busting out the chocolate crackles and fairy bread for your kids party, not a set of DD knockers....I am tempted to continue on and comment on the over sexualisation of our kids via society and media influences but that will be saved for another day.

Ms Burge you are a disgrace....Rant over.

Friday, June 3, 2011

The climate for change

My Dad always told me, "son when you go out camping, do not take a dump anywhere near your campsite, if you do you will have to live with the smell." Now I am not a climate change fanatic, nor am I a head in the sand sceptic, you could say I am a moderate. I was going to say I was a 'climate change liberal' but that might not go down to well with my greener readers. But i seems to me that we as society have lowered our strides, squatted on our haunches and proceeded to take a big dump over this planet we call home, I don't know about you but I am beginning to get a waft of shite coming my way.
Let my preface the following: I am not a scientist, aligned to any political lobby group/party or am I an actress/actor spruiking the cause, basically I am just a middle age bloke whose thoughts will probably throw up more questions than answers.

Now our current government has suggested a carbon tax, to me the word tax makes me quiver in my jocks. I have three kids, cars and bills, I am being smashed around the head with constant rises in utilities and cost of living increases. Just last week I had to sell a kidney to buy some banana's for the kids lunches, currently I am in negotiations with the Epworth Eye Clinic in regards to the sale of my left cornea so as I can purchase a lamb roast for Sunday lunch when the family comes over. So the possibility of another tax that could impact  my already over taxed existence was probably not the best sell ever by a government, especially when the lead in prior to the last election was "we will not introduce a carbon tax". From the onset this has taken some of the credibility away from a very credible topic that needs urgent attention and action, the further we head down this path of inaction the longer the way back it becomes. The average punter wants to see change but they want certainty in their economic future and the ability to provide for their families. Now I do not want to sound simple here, but we are a supply and demand society. As wealth increases and population growth continues to rocket forward we are going to create  higher demand so business will have to supply greater levels of goods, services and utilities to meet this demand.  This will lead to more revenue being created via the tax on carbon emissions created from the increase in manufacturing needed to supply the extra goods, services and utilities. So what does our current government plan to do with this new found income stream? That's right folks they will compensate families and businesses impacted by the expected increase via the way of income tax breaks, rebates and increases in welfare payments to offset the expected increases, bloody super, I will not have to sell a lung to pay for the next kilogram of banana's I need to buy!

At the risk of sounding like a real simpleton, isn't the purpose of a tax on carbon to reduce our dependence on being a carbon based economy and look at ways of finding/developing alternate energy supplies? Buy compensating families and businesses who are directly affected from the implementation of the carbon tax aren't we only moving money around and not actually creating any longterm solutions? If quoted figures are correct the price on carbon emissions will be $26 per tonne which will create revenue of $11.5 billion, anyone want to take a stab at what percentage the federal government plans on spending on green research and development? A tight fisted 10%, that is all, bloody pathetic isn't it. This is on top of winding back solar rebate schemes and other renewable energy programs/initiatives implemented to try and make us a more energy efficient society. So the other 90% of the raised revenue goes to compensating business and ordinary Australians for the expected cost increases, ever heard of the saying "robbing Peter to pay Paul", prime example people, it just does not make sense.

I did go looking for what our beloved federal opposition had via the way of alternatives to this governments proposals, no great surprises in the fact that I did not find a hell of a lot to write about, fiction is a bit more prevalent than fact it would seem. Also it is hard to determine the identity of our opposition when all you can see is their butts because their collective heads are buried in the sand regarding this issue.

No I am not going to sit here and pretend that I have the answers, but I do have a few thoughts. This issue is beyond party politics and should be tackled in a bi-partisan manner, imaging all out elected representatives working to together on the single biggest common issue affecting not only Australia, but the globe. Maybe our elected representatives could actually expand renewable energy grants, for instance expand the solar energy rebate, not wind it back as will occur at the end of this financial year. How about a true green loan scheme, 0% interest and repayable via income tax or redemption of tax returns for those wishing to utilise  renewable energy sources/technologies. Imagine the reduction in carbon emissions if even 25% Australian homes were solar sustainable efficient? We have the technology people, but do we have a government with the balls to walk away from big business and the power they wield within our supposed democracy? At the end of the day a new tax is not going to change peoples perceptions, it will only harden peoples resolves against expanding their ideologies. Government must take decisive, informed action and remember that it is ordinary Australians that elected them to make important decisions such as action on climate change. But unfortunately it appears that all level of government dances to the tune of powerful lobby groups, remember the mining tax? It is easier for our government to buy off voters with a few shiny income tax breaks than it is to stand up to a lobby group-after all they could not risk losing their funding base. The Garnaut review into climate change has been released, it will be interesting to see how many of the recommendations are adopted by the multi party committee into climate change or will we end up with another outcome like the Henry tax review, pick and choose politics?

Rant over....

Sunday, May 29, 2011

The Sunday Paper

I was flicking through the Sunday paper today  while I was sipping my coffee and chomping on my scrambled eggs and an article by Angela Mollard titled 'growing up on the fast track' caught my eye. The basic premise of the article was that our kids have to many external pressures and are growing up to fast.That our kids are no longer being given the right to be kids, they are engulfed in technolgy, swamped by media influences of what is ideal and have to many pressures to perform at a peak level so as their parents can brag about them around the water cooler.
 Cmon parents what happened to talking about the footy or what movie you have seen lately? To me it seems a lot of parents are trying to have a second childhood lived through their kids and child rearing has become the next extreme sport. It is not how to keep up with the Jones in the parenting stakes these days, it is how can we blow them out of the water...little Summer Lee Tulip has commenced an advanced philosphy class for five year olds did you say? I was looking at a baby product website favoured by the celeb brigade, several friends had liked this website via a social media forum, bibs for $40.00ea and feeding cloth's for $35.00 each, now do not get my wrong i am not a tight ass, but surely even rich people would have more sense than to spend $40 bucks for something that is going to get spewed on!!!! Is this the next frontier? Or will the competition be who can obtain the first Versaci spew rag for when you feed little Angus? Seriously folks, me and the good wife just loaded up the bag with the boring old white cloth nappies from the hospital as we were on the way out the door after each visit, served us fine.
Now as a kid, which is a few years ago, I could not wait to grow up and get out into the big wide world, "what do you mean i cannot stay at the backpackers in Bourke St with my friends to see Morrisey, I am 14 for gods sake" was one pearl of wisdom I put to my Mum..Now as a parent I can see where her reply of "over my dead and decaying body" came from, even if she did suffer a major cerebral aneurysm I would still have to wait for her to decay into dust before I could get out the door, bloody parents.
When I had kids I swore that I would not be like my parents, I would raise my children in a blissful environment of free choice, an endless supply of toys and dispute resolution would not be needed as we would be best friends and never have any confrontations....what a misguided fool I was! I still wish I could do some of these things but the advance of society and technology into our every day lives has left me in some instances sounding like my parents, bloody awful isn't it. Some friends look at me like I am a freak because our five year old does not have a Wii or DS, he actually goes to soccer training twice a week, plays outside in the dirt, reads stories and enjoys school. I am not saying he will never have one, but I will try and hold off as long as i can. For his next birthday which he shares with the middle child they are getting a trampoline, sandpit and a guitar hero game for family nights on the playstation. This last choice coming after much debate with my wife. I find as a parent it is that hard to find the balance between your kids being left behind in the schoolyard by there peers, or growing up in a "Call of Duty"  technological induced coma.
I hear of kids that are in primary school that have mobile phones to stay in touch with their friends, what happened with jumping on you pushie and going for a ride to see them, or am i being too nostalgic? I used to have to wait to get to school everyday to see my mates, then weekends were filled with footy/cricket and jumping on the pushie with fishing rods in hand. I cannot remember any of my teenage mates being depressed, lost or struggling with a major identity issues, or was I just not looking hard enough? I get scared when I read/see the news and there are stories of young kids assaulting each other, their teachers and family members for no apparent reason, where have we gone wrong as a society that peers, family and authority are no longer held sacracent and respected. Do not get me wrong, issues like this have always been around through time, but it just seems so prevalent these days.
So i guess it comes down to us as parents to be strong and realise that we are parents first to our kids, not best friends or buddies. I do hope that my boys will develop the bonds of mateship with me, but I hope more that they will respect my role/duties as a parent as I begrudgingly have done to my parents as I look back. I remember my folks saying that balance is the key, on that note i would like to thank you for reading my first blog as I stagger forward on the knife edge that is parenting, wish me luck and hope that I do not slip and end up with that vasectomy that my wife is talking about.