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mum says

new year


We all enjoy a noisy New Year’s Eve with friends by the firelight of mosquito coils with Nian, the Chinese New Year Monster, nowhere to be found. Writer: Kylie Freer Photographs: David Field Well, unless of course said monsters are asleep under tables, on trampolines or in beanbags after they have reached their limits. Having the opportunity to celebrate two New Years in Bendigo is rather special. Let’s face it, it’s nice to have more than one chance at a fresh start, especially if you action your Western New Year’s resolution of diet and exercise while you’re still on holidays and making merry with friends and family. As Confucius says, “Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in getting up every time we do.” Some of us fall more often than a toddler. Thanks to my toddler, I think our household is safe from Nian, the New Year’s Monster. Our son seems to celebrate the Chinese New Year all year round. With noise being his speciality, who needs noise makers and Chinese Dragons to scare away evil spirits when you have a three year old? But curse the washing machine that insists on washing his favourite red pyjamas and bringing us into battle. In China, the colour red signifies joy, in our household, red in the washing machine is like waving a red flag at a bull in Pamplona. Unfortunately for him, his mother is a Taurean... even less fortunate, she was born in

the Year of the Dragon. The moment for celebrating the New Year is drawing closer, only to be shortly followed by the Chinese New Year as we welcome the Year of the Dragon in 2012. For my children, the New Year is about glow sticks, sparklers, a late night of water fights, followed by a string of birthday parties for the next couple of months. For them, each New Year brings with it an element of luck. How can it not be lucky to receive a party bag of lollies every fortnight for the next two months? While their parents talk about the usual New Year’s resolutions of more exercise, less alcohol and caffeine, and smaller waistlines, the children’s New Year’s resolutions tend to consist more of growth indicators, “When I’m six, I will lose a tooth.” For them, the New Year is literally a New Age, a new school year, a new set of adventures... like moving up a grade level and getting to write on smaller lines, as my daughter recently explained, “I just can’t wait for Grade One, Mum.” Then again, the naivety of a child’s New Year’s resolution can be bigger than all of us and yet still lack that sense of responsibility,

“I’m going to save the world. Mum, you can put the food scraps into a box so Dad can start a compost heap and grow worms. That’s good for the earth, did you know?” Such a New Year’s resolution does not come gifted in a lucky red envelope with lucky money, however, in the words of Confucius, better a diamond with a flaw than a pebble without. I guess it is the thought that counts, just like the 3Rs at Christmas time; Receive, Rewrap, Re-gift. Yes, we can save the world one re-gift at a time... just don’t forget who gave it to you in the first place! Parents can all live in hope that the New Year’s resolution that does come in the lucky red envelope might say, “I will keep my bedroom tidy and not hoard junk.” Also both pleasing and acceptable would be, “I will speak nicely to my parents and never talk back.” Alas, I feel that is just wishful thinking in a fortune cookie. To be honest, in achieving their resolutions I feel kids should all think like the Little Red Caboose, chugging, “I think I can,” and act with the wisdom of Confucius. As the wise philosopher once said, “It does not matter how slowly you go, as long as you do not stop.” ■

issue 25 - bendigo magazine | 177

BgoMag Issue 25  
BgoMag Issue 25  

Bendigo Magazine Issue 25 - Summer 2011