Friday, 7 September 2012

back to school worry... again

A few weeks ago our children began "real" school. This is Sophie's third, Bethany's second and Matthew's first time in school and it will be their longest.  No tears, just a lot of anxiety from me about how they were all going to cope with it.

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!

Thursday, 6 September 2012

sandwich bag dilemma

To all experienced school Mums and Dads,

How do you pack sandwiches for school?

Do you use sandwich bags?  Do you throw them out each time or wash and re-use?

Do you use glad-wrap to keep sandwiches fresh?  Does it annoy you that this just creates rubbish as well?

How else does one keep sandwiches fresh?

Lots of containers?

Looking for answers.

the little things in life...

I hung the washing on the line this morning.

All socks paired.  No odd socks.

Very satisfying.

Tuesday, 4 September 2012


We are back in Australia until the end of January for rest and deputation.

The girls both had birthdays around the time we were leaving.  This became a chance for them to say good-bye to their friends, some of whom they won't see again now as their families will have graduated and left by the time we return.

Here's a photo we took at Sophie's birthday; the morning of a "sleep-over".  It was lots of fun, but for me it was mixed with a sadness that the girls themselves don't yet know or understand.