21 years of Matthew

R to L Matthew and Seb

A new look blog and I am back. Look forward to sharing again all things that matter to me with you. This month I am posting what I read at my youngest sons 21st on Saturday. Had a few guests suggest that it would be a good one to share. Hope you all enjoy reading it. Lory xx

Can’t believe Matthew/Goog/Matt/Big Fidge/Little Fidge (he is many things to many people) is about to turn 21 tomorrow.  Our second born son.  A happy, sunny, good looking child who once had blonde curly hair. He has always been full of life and full of mischief.  And here are just a few reflections of him to share today.

Matthew was an easy, happy baby, other than the projectile vomiting that came with his severe reflux.  Andrew and I can still see the looks on friend’s faces as they eagerly asked for a cuddle, their wish granted immediately but first, they were covered in a cot sheet.  Just in case. His most favourite thing in the world was his dummy and he was attached to not one but three of them – which was just as well as he often threw them out of his cot at a sleeping Jesse in an attempt to wake him up.  This could take several throws and probably still would. He was very indulged by Jesse and Matthew followed him everywhere.  They were always together and shared a room happily for 11 years.  We loved to hear them chat away in their bunk beds long after they went to bed to sleep.

He is loud – we think he was born loud.  If he wanted something as a toddler he would not come and find you.  He would yell at the top of his lungs from wherever he was, particularly if he wanted Andrew’s attention.  DAAAADDDDDD was literally screamed out all the time – I’m sure he made the neighbours jump on more than one occasion.  His voice today is still the deepest in the house.

He has always been kind.   When Jesse was sick as a little boy he would gently pat him on the head and on one occasion popped his beloved dummy into Jesses’ mouth.  The sentiment was not lost on Jesse; everyone knew how he loved his dummies.  When I was sick he did his best to avoid me not in a mean way – he just wanted me back to normal – but I would often wake up and he would have left a flower on the side of my bed. His empathy now is still one of his greatest qualities.

He is very talkative.  Every parent teacher interview always started with a smile and a sigh from his teacher, “Lory, he is a lovely boy and has lots to say but he must pick his time to share it.”  Yep.  That is one lesson he never learnt at school but it makes him a wonderful conversationalist with people of all ages.  Many a dinner or party is made so much better with Matthews’s great social capabilities and his “gift of the gab.”  On long car trips though this was not so appreciated.  We spent many, many years driving backwards and forwards to Tim and Tracey’s farm on the West Coast for weekends and holidays.  It’s a 6.5 hour drive.  A few kilometres from the farm Matthew would get on the 2way radio to let them know we were nearly there.  “Uncle Tim…………..are you on channel?”  A 2 min exchange that would make Matthew talk for 6.5 hours so he wouldn’t fall asleep and miss that opportunity.  I can still hear Jesse in the back seat, “Goog, shut up.  I promise I will wake you up when we hit the dirt road.”  But no.

He is reckless.  So many falls and crashes off bikes, skateboards and then cars.  He actually became infamous in Year 4 for riding his push bike down the school slippery dip.  “No mean feat Lory, the teachers said, we were all a little impressed, but it is Road Safety Week!”  The school nurse said he was her best customer and the scar visible on the side of his head was from one fall he had when he fell onto the bike racks.  Lots of blood, I got a call to say he was hurt at 8.15am literally just after I had dropped him off.

He is funny.  Such a sharp, quick wit.  He keeps his friends and family entertained.  He is the only one that can make Jesse really cry with laughter.  Like, completely lose it.  It is a gift. He has total recall of movie lines and punch lines and does fantastic impersonations.  Why this brilliant memory did not recall homework assignment due dates, science formulas or even what day of the week it is sometimes is beyond me.

He is frustratingly but endearingly laid-back and not so much now but during his school years he was so forgetful.  Important school notes were found months after the event and many a party invite was given to me the day before it was on.  Once we got the 2014 school year book brought home at the end of 2015.  To this day we do not know what happened to the 2015 one –Mum I just have no idea!

He is charming.  When he is focused on someone they have his undivided attention and that smile can get him out of trouble too.  He was once in a bar and wasn’t getting served quick enough so went behind the bar and poured some drinks for him and some friends.  He wasn’t spotted the first time so decided to push his luck and go again.  The real barman asked him what he was doing. 

Matthew confidently replied, “I work here!” 

“Really?” 

“Yep.”  The barman said alright then let’s go check with security.  Matthew said no that’s ok, laughed and ran down the stairs making a quick getaway unscathed.

He loves deeply.  He gives hugs to die for – although does not always respect people’s personal space – just ask Emma who he tends to sit on and hug way longer than she would like. He writes the most wonderful heartfelt things in birthday cards for all of us.  He takes Mother’s Day and Father’s Day very seriously and does everything to make sure we have a nice day.  He loves to buy meaningful gifts and puts a lot of thought into choosing the very thing.  Caitlin, Matthews’s gorgeous girlfriend has really brought out a level of romance in Matthew we have never seen.  It is so nice seeing them together and sharing so many things in common.  Matthew has never been this happy and they laugh together a lot.  It’s lovely to watch.

Matthew loves animals, especially dogs – he and Izzy were best friends.  In stark contrast to that he also loves guns, knives, swords, bow and arrows, axes – all weapons of mass destruction really.   We used to think he would grow up to be a trained assassin or a career in the forces……glad it is the latter.

But……  the great love of Matthews’s life is Seb. Caitlin was aware they were a package deal.  For the last 5 years they have been pretty much inseparable and there is no story of Matthew’s that doesn’t have Seb in it.

From high school parties where we would pick them up at midnight – You haven’t been drinking have you?  No.  Matthew however would get in the car and be unable to speak – he was always very tired after these parties and Seb…..well he wouldn’t shut up.  We used to think how friendly and polite that was until we were told in latter years that their strategy was to get absolutely hammered by 10pm and then try and sober up from 10pm-12am.  Matthew less than successful in getting sober would tell Seb to talk – “keep them distracted they love you!”  And as we now know the more Seb drinks the more he talks.

They have survived schoolies where they infamously shaved their heads, Matthew had a Mohawk and Seb had a lightning bolt etched in his scalp. They supposedly studied long and hard in Year 12, many late nights at our dining room table where I would feel quite sorry for them as Andrew and I would go to bed leaving them to it.  But then their ATAR scores came in………………let’s just say they reflected how much fun they had that last year and that maybe notsomuch studying was being done.  I know of one night now where Matthew and Seb snuck out, got into trouble and called Jesse around 2am. Jesse left the house to pick them up.  We laugh at what if I had got up for some reason – I would have found all three beds empty except ……….for a girl in Jesses…………… he had  snuck Emma in before we knew she existed through the front door that we never use.    We have this mental image of her peeping over the covers hoping not to be discovered as all this chaos went on.

Matthew and Seb have been on a road trip to Cairns, which was talked about for a year and planned in less than a week, jumped out of a plane together, have had camping trips, many adventures in Seb’s family shack and many nights spent in the shed here playing eight ball. They have fallen asleep on the roof of the local footy club rooms – they were listening to music knowing that the other would wake them if they fell asleep.  Well they both fell asleep and woke up freezing in the foetal position and ran all the way home.  It is a miracle they have survived this far as common sense is not often a factor in their decisions. I could write a book about them but people would think it was fiction.

They laugh all the time at the very same things (sometimes not always appropriate but them laughing makes us laugh). In a room full of spare seats they sit squished together on a two seater couch, shoulder to shoulder.  In fact the only thing they have consistently argued about over the years is food portions.  Matthew always needs to make sure that we are not giving Seb that extra potato or the last slice of meat.  Quite ridiculous but just so we are clear – when Jesse isn’t around Seb is getting a little bit more. They are each other’s go to person and Matthew relies and trusts Seb with everything.  It has been a wonderful thing watching friends become brothers. 

In short Matthew you are a wonderful son, brother, brother in law, grandson, nephew, cousin and boyfriend and friend.  As you are about to embark on this next exciting chapter, a career in the Air Force Dad and I just know it will be all you have dreamt of and you will realise your goals that you set a long time ago.  We, your support network, will be here cheering you on …….BUT ……..if you are only allowed a 5 min phone call at the beginning of your training and you ring Seb………..well …………………..

Happy Birthday Matthew – cannot imagine my days without you around.  One of my best friends you are and my sunshine you will always be.  Love you more xxxx

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