Saturday, February 7, 2009

Three Things To Celebrate

Alexander at his Painting Exhibition in Kerikeri - 6 February 2009

Yesterday was an interesting day. We had three reasons for a celebration.

First - yesterday was the 6th of February and Waitangi day in New Zealand. This day celebrates the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi and is a very important document for New Zealand. I think that despite criticisms from both extremes of the political spectrum the treaty and its recent off shoot the Treaty of Waitangi Tribunal has meant that there is a political mechanism in place to deal with grievances. We may or may not agree with the outcomes but I think that it has meant that latter day New Zealand has not ended up with some of the protracted problems of say Northern Ireland or the Palestinian Israeli conflict.

Second - Waitangi day is the birthday of our second son Nikolai. He was born in 1981, so he is 28 this year. Years ago I used to kid him by telling him that the guns that were fired by the navy at Waitangi and that the bands that played etc were really to celebrate his birthday - it's the sort of silly jokes dads embarrass their offspring with - I can't remember what he thought of that idea at the time. Yesterday I said, " How does it feel to be 28? " - "Older," he replied. "I know the feeling", I replied and left it at that.

Third - Yesterday our second son Alexander held his third exhibition of paintings. This time in Kerikeri. He was invited to do so by the gallery owner who had seen his work in Whangarei. So we all bundled ourselves into the aging Honda Accord with the dent in the boot, the oil leak and the stone stuck in the brake pads somewhere which means that at every Stop sign people turn to look - searching for the hideous noise ( but I digress and why did I tell you all about my cars current short comings - buggered if I know).

- Anyway, moving on - The gallery owner is a painter himself and he has works that have been sold all over the world. That an established artist finds Alexanders work worthy of exhibiting is encouraging indeed.

I asked the gallery owner what he saw in Alexs' work and he said that he saw a very original talent and that he thought that if Alex was to keep "pushing and extending himself" combined with getting his work shown in the right galleries in Auckland then he might begin to sell more of his work and build up a reputation. I certainly hope that this is the case and that this happens - After all, we all want our kids to find their place in the world. To be involved with something worthwhile that uses their talents and to see them do well don't we.

Yes - yesterday was an interesting day.


Delwyn said...

You should be a very proud dad to have two talented and lovely sons that you have. You obviously have done a very good job of parenting.

Alden said...

Thankyou Delwyn those are very kind words.
I think that the majority of parents do try their very best for their children - trouble is we can't control everything and it's difficult sometimes to watch them make mistakes and learn lessons (often the hard way).

But we should remember that that is exactly what we did at their age!!

Kathryn said...

Fantastic! and Happy Birthday to one son and Congratulations and well done to the other!

I'll bet you are a great Dad to them too, Pal.

Mr. Kinder said...

Happy birthday to Nikolai! He shares a birthday with my wife, as well as Waitrangi Day.

Alden said...

Thankyou, I think I am a reasonable sort of Dad Kathryn, like most parents I think I have made all sorts of mistakes but the wonderful thing about children that I have learnt from being a teacher is that so long as the mistakes are not too damaging, children are very forgiving and remarkably resilient.

Alden said...

Dan! so the 6th Feb is a memorable day for both of us - say happy birthday to your wife from one of your blogspot friends :-)

Kathryn said...

My twins, Lisa and Richard, have their birthday tomorrow and they will be 36. You're quite right Alden, children are resilient. Can we still call them children when they get to this age? :-)

Alden said...

Kathryn, that is a very good question indeed. I think that you will always be mum to them - and I bet you will never say " my adult children are coming over for tea tonight" !

Katherine said...

All the best to all of you! Alex for his intriguing paintings that I shall enjoy seeing becoming more and more well known. And Nik for being such an old man :-)
And you for your work on that dear little dinghy. And your wife for being able to let you sail in conditions that possibly make her nervous for your safety.

PS I can't help noticing a Russian influence in the boy's names. Or is that just a coincidence?

Alden said...

Katherine - thankyou for all your good wishes.

A throwaway line I sometimes use when people comment on Nikolais name is to say that I was reading Tolstoys 'War and Peace' at the time - but that's not true! - It was his mums idea - she wanted to give him a distinctive name. It caused consternation at the time with a Kiwi/Americans aunts friends who couldn't understand why anyone would name a child with a name from a communist country! - but don't start me on the USA.

Katherine said...

I think it's a super name. Both the boys.

My great uncle's names were Sergei, and Alexi and my grandmother's name was Olga Nikitina Petrovna.