Nineteen Years

June Perkins's photo.
Every year I write a letter to my children.  
This is for my son’s nineteenth birthday.
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At three or four in Melbourne University Gardens

Happy Birthday Son – so many places have you traveled.

Elders have said to us that young boy will do something special.

A whole class of children from your first school wrote you beautiful farewell letters.

All these people liked you because you weren’t scared of learning in silence from watching and doing.

And you always like standing up for what’s right even if it means not going with the tide of popular and fickle opinion. But since then it’s been a long journey so many schools, as your parents traveled, worked and studied – NSW, QLD towns city and country, year 12 done through distance education and in all that time very few teachers ever saw your brilliance or encouraged you – except for Mr Mberna, from Zimbabwe who said the same thing as those young elders when you were a small boy

A passion for the guitar has been found, a coach to your little brother, and a mentor to your little sister (study hard sis) a voice like Cash and Dylan combined, years of migraines and never having a large group of friends (but we all remember Jesse from Wollongong a fine young man who always said you will be a leader and was a dear friend)

Now you are entering university – to study science – a strong young man with strong values and a gentleman is what you are to us your parents and now the world will see it too. This is your year, this is your time.

Love, Mum

Dad and Ben
First Year in Townsville
Visiting the Torres Strait when 3
With Mum in Feluga 2008
Beginning of Childcare – whilst Mum Studied.  This is at the end of year concert.  Ben’s best friend was Helen Anu’s daughter. 

(c) June Perkins


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