The day before they began we went down to the school to enrol, find uniforms and check the place out. One child was welcomed with a hug upon visiting the class; one happily found a seat and wanted to stay until the end of the day and one refused to talk to the office lady and hid from the teacher. Understandably (don't you think), I was in a panic about how that child would cope when they began the next day.
Now it is that child most eager to get to school each day.
I still worry.
I keep meaning and keep forgetting to tell Matthew's teacher that he responds to a negative question with the opposite to expected answer. For example, to the question,
"So you didn't hit him?"and he hadn't in fact hit him, we (in English) expect the answer, "no" meaning "no, I didn't hit him". But, our Matthew (following the Bislama construction) will say "yes" meaning, "yes, what you said is correct, I didn't hit him". But in English, "yes" means "yes I did". You can see how that would cause him some trouble! And I worry.
Bethany told me before she started that she didn't want to make friends because "every one will be friendly to start with but after a while they will ignore me". Already in her short life she knows that the novelty of the new girl will wear off and that's when the tough business of making friends only just begins. She invests so much energy into friendship and I worry about her.
I worry that she doesn't understand how friendship works in Australia. I worry that her attempts to show kindness and establish friendships will be misunderstood. "I made a mistake Mum. I didn't know I had to tell my friends I was going to play with someone else. Now they think I don't like them. But it isn't true." And I worry that her fiery temper will cause her some trouble.
And I worry about Sophie. I want to be in class to say,
"that's enough questions now; don't ask 'why' so much; don't do that; don't do that; we don't do that here in Australia; like this; don't answer all the questions; they don't want to hear about that".I want to be in the playground to say,
"You don't have to share one chocolate bar with all the children in the playground; don't order everyone around; they're not listening; don't stand so close; give people space; don't try to hold hands so much; they've had enough of that game; she doesn't want to run around; can't you tell from her expression?"
And I worry and I worry and I worry.
But God is with them in the classroom. And he is with them in the playground.
Maybe he won't say all the things I want to say.
And possibly, just possibly, that's for the best!