Thursday, 4 February 2010

A Father / Son Fairytale

Once upon a time (about 30 years ago), there was a little boy who had a dream. He played soccer and what he really wanted to do, was to see Australia play in the world cup. When he met a beautiful maiden, who he made his wife (she had no choice - this is a fairytale after all), he mentioned continually his childhood dream to see Australia play in the world cup. They had a beautiful daughter, then a gorgeous son, followed up by a fiesty (but alas another gorgeous) daughter. Much to his dismay (and his wife), his daughter refused to play football when she came to the rightful soccer playing age.
Then, wouldn't you know it, December 2005 - Australia got into the world cup. A promise is a promise, so we applied for 5 tickets to the world cup. Because FIFA is by and far one of the most colourful of institutions, and because the Australian organisers enjoy what you would call a "monopoly", only 4 tickets could be put into any bid - big problem - there are 5 people in our family. So we made 2 seperate bids. In his great rush - the father, having dreamed his whole life of joining this, didn't tick the "ticket only" box for his and his son's petition. Instead he ticked the "stay with the Australian group in the nice hotels and have everything catered" box. Oops. For the girls he ticked the "ticket only" box.
Now I don't say this out of bitterness because I am a bit of a cheap skate and would have had a miserable time if I'd paid that price x 5. I really would have loved to have gone as a family (but not as a "the works" option). We knew a lot of people that put in bids for "ticket only" and a few people who had put in bids for "the works". Funnily enough all of the people who put in for the "works" got their tickets (this option was 1000% more expensive funnily enough) while we know no-one who got "ticket only" tickets. After he got the tickets, we asked if we could change the name on some of the games (the girls go and we get to see a game each) - but No, Australian administration was adament that this was impossible (in actual fact is was very possible but for some reason the Australian leg were adament to not allow it).
Luckily, this was all over by Jan 1st and the two boys had 5 1/2 months to anticipate and I had 5 1/2 months to come to terms with just how much it was costing. Trust me, I was at peace with it by Jan 06 (I was planning my trip to Paris with C girl for the following year).

They met some "very minor celebraties".

Bear was the mascot for the Aussie celebrations

They were part of the crowd. J's procedure was to put Bear on his shoulders and carry him when in a crowd - explains why he lost 4kg in 2 1/2 weeks away.....he's a heavy kid.

Not sure where the rest of this girl's uniform is....I'd either lose a national dress competition with this or romp it in...........inspiration to stay on that treadmill..... (note I am not going to comment that my husband took this photo (if your husband wouldn't - you need to work on your relationship...just saying).
This one I got off Ninemsn as he was Channel 9's poster child.

This is before the first game, they had arrived only 12 hours before and it's a 22 hour flight from Sydney. They saw every Australian game.....Bear still watches the games on You Tube trying to work out where he sat.

They were also the roving reporters for a local radio (NXFM - newcastle). Unfortunately, after leaving on Sat afternoon the first I heard from them was on the radio on Tuesday morning - after they had won the first game........someone was sooooooo drunk (with happiness?). But it was really nice to hear his voice.
Is it just me - or does he look tiny - he was 4 1/2 at the time. They went to Frankfurt, Stuttgart, Cologne, Munich and Berlin during the stay. They visited legoland, the mercedes museum and some historical sights. They also got to see the Australian team training up close.

For two and half weeks, they joined the Australian Touring contingent. Considering Bear still talks about it, I think they had a fantastic time together.

Especially when surrounded by football, trains and lego (his three favorite things in the world even now).

Although there were crowds, I know that his Dad would keep him safe no matter what.

Because when there is this Dad involved, he will stop at nothing to protect his child.

And that look on Bear's face when he looks up at his Dad, it makes it all worthwhile. I don't know many Dad's who would actually want to go on such a huge trip alone with his son, but he loved it - and in his own words he couldn't think of anyone he would have prefered to take (gee thanks - joke joyce).
By the way - NO, they are not going to South Africa. We know what we know, and I will not be taking my children there any time soon).
Fingers crossed I can talk J into going with the entire family to Rio in 2014. His concern is we will have two blonde girls (11 and 15 yo at that time) that totally lack street smarts as they have been living inside a warm cushy bubble....we will see what the next 4 years bring (no doubting Australia will qualify).

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