A picture from our holiday in North Wales. I always get to the stage just before we leave, when I seriously wonder if it’s worthy going on holiday…packing camping gear, food, wet weather activities….and Sparkly Eyes unpacking behind me.
But, finally we set off, and it was definitely worth it. I’d packed for wet weather, but it was a week when the whole country was soaking in sunshine, and Snowdonia was no exception. The campsite was a the foot of a “mini mountain” and Sparkly Eyes, who isn’t a great walker, managed to scramble her way to her first summit. We visited a couple of castles, the girls and I swam in the sea, we ate ice cream on the beach, and Hard Working Husband and the boys conquered Snowdon. After Ben Nevis last year it could have been easier, but they went a more difficult route, so it felt a challenge in itself. There was a river flowing through the campsite, so the girls spent happy hours in their swimming cosies playing in it, the boys played Frisbee, and we actually had time to chill, read and not do much. Our holidays are generally fairly activity packed, but we were both physically, mentally and spiritually pretty drained, so we gave in to it, and it was bliss!
It was Lanky Dudes 16th birthday this week, and he sat his final IGCSE a couple of days later. So, quite a milestone week. I think it’s hard for mums to put into words quite how proud we are of our children, and how much joy they bring us. And when things go wrong, quite how deep the pain is. And I’m so grateful for all the time I’ve spent with our oldest son, being mum and teacher.
A key Bible verse for me in trying to bring up our children is Deuteronomy 6:6-8 which talks about our responsibility as parents to teach our kids about God, his love, his ways, his design for humanity. And I guess this is the thing I’m most grateful for, that he’s grown from a little boy sitting beside me on the sofa, listening to stories from a picture Bible, to a nearly young adult with a strong faith, based on Biblical reason and guided by the Holy Spirit. There are no guarantees with parenting, and he has many challenges ahead, so as mum I have to continue to fall back on prayer and God’s undeserved grace.
Anyway, he celebrated well, with pancakes for breakfast, meeting up with home ed friends at church for coffee, lunch at cafe, friend round for tea, and youth club. Two birthday cakes down, and one to go at his party in a couple of weeks’ time. We celebrated his last exam with bacon sandwiches at the cafe. I’ve always taken him for a bacon roll, burger etc after each exam, but for this final one we all went, together with hard working husband who was home for the day, and Kind Granny.
Although Lanky Dude has most definitely done the hard work, it is a team effect, with especially Rhythm Dude sometimes taking on some of his jobs. So, we celebrated, and as his mum I can only look to our Father in heaven with gratitude for walking ahead of us every step of the way.
Our pigs are becoming a little friendlier…the girls have managed to stroke them while they feed. These are a couple of our chickens, and one of the sheep currently in the field.