Updated: Mar 7
Hooray; my eldest child has toddled off back to school...at...long...last! The atmosphere in our home is as though we have all breathed out a sigh of relief. It was all getting a bit beyond us. Although we did have a routine and we tried and I steered the boat in the way I knew how; the child-in -school- parent-at-home scenario is a much better one for us. What a privilege, though, to have had the opportunity to home school and find out that we definitely don't want to do it ever again unless circumstances dictate it to be our only option! Four slightly pernicious months of it! Gideon produces better quality work for his teachers than I and I almost fell off my chair with disbelief at how neat his handwriting can actually be if he has a fresh set of expectations and attitude.
Although behaviour hasn't improved drastically, (he's pretty tired with having extra add-on lessons to make up for lost-learning...is it really necessary in year 2?!), I've definitely not heard myself shout: "RIGHT! That's minus 5 stars" nearly as frequently as I did last week. In an attempt to appease some of the tiredness-fuelled moods we're greeted with at bus-collection time, we've been bringing him cookies to cheer him up. Sadly, on the day I messed up because I wasn't sure which side of the road his bus was going to stop, (they keep changing it at the moment), Gideon was already in a bad mood because I wasn't exactly on point at the bus stop, but Emily also dropped his cookie so a few dirty crumbs didn't have the desired effect. The same evening I had a prawn thrown across the table, ( I don't think it was aimed at me) but it was apparently my fault that he wasn't sure how to de-shell it. Anyway, it's been good for him to stand on his own two feet in a context away from home and family and be challenged in ways that we can't deliver.
Despite the rather chaotic past few months, Mike and I are feeling probably more settled than ever. It's partly because we would be coming already to the end of his first teaching contract, in theory we would be packing to go 'home' this June and we simply don't feel even the slightest bit ready to return to the mother land just yet. It's taken almost 3 years to get to this point I think. Thanks to mum for the image portraying the transition from unsettled-settled, (see below). I think that we have barely even touched on the plans God has for us here and hardly begun to uncover the ground and the breakthroughs that He has and wills. Although I do go into minor panics about all that was lost and left in the move and big concerns about how on Earth ours and the kid's futures may unfold when we do finally return, its so reassuring to trust in His faithfulness, to know that "His plans (are) to prosper you and not to harm you, to give you hope and a future" (Jeremiah 29 v 11).