The holidays have ended. Our last week was a “home” one; seeing friends, preparing for this term’s learning, just hanging out together. We had our precious, energetic godson for a couple of days; we all spent a morning in the field cutting the grass, strimming, digging up potatoes, picking apples. We planted twelve types of apple tree, and I love the variety they produce. The three boys went off on their bikes, and I entrusted Dancing Toes to him a couple of times to cycle down to our town centre and buy donuts. She was very pleased with herself, and he took the responsibility very seriously. We all went out for lunch in our local church cafe on the last Friday of the holidays; it’s a very sociable place, and lovely to catch up with young people at home from uni.
I generally quite enjoy preparing for a new term. It felt very strange not doing any planning for Lanky Dude, and there is not much for Rhythm Dude, either as he’s now following IGCSE syllabuses.
However, I get to be creative with the girls’ learning. We are going to learn about the Middle Ages, study human biology (from a fab Christian home-school curriculum) and try a new way of learning grammar and spelling. So, I’m excited about what’s ahead. I love the natural way I can teach the children when they’re young; reading to them, and then picking up on what we find interesting and going with it, with lots of practical learning involved.
We do a yearly shop for stationary; this year HWH came with us, and we all had a picnic lunch on the green; a place where we so often went with two little boys, so it holds many memories. As Lanky Dude moves on to new and exciting things, I’m so grateful for all the time we’ve had with him at home. We’ve had lots of fun! On the last Saturday of the holidays we went over to Creative Auntie and her family. They celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary, and we had a lovely day with a yummy bar b que in their garden.
Their grown-up kids are both off to uni soon, so it was great to catch up with them, as well as a few friends from years back, during our Big City days. It makes me very conscious of the way God weaves his plans and purposes throughout our individual stories.
And then this week saw Lanky Dude off to college. He went with confidence and anticipation; enjoyed meeting staff and fellow students, navigated the bus timetable, wandered around Fresher’s Fair, and showed surprisingly good organisational skills!
Rhythm Dude has really missed his brother and best friend but has stoically been getting down to his work. As college is near to the sea, the rest of us went for a bracing walk along the coast before picking Lanky Dude up one day. I too, have felt excited about this new start for him. But, early one morning, while all others slept, the tears started to flow. For the times we’ve shared over the years; two little blond boys sitting next to me on the sofa while we read the Bible and prayed, sausage rolls in the park after toddler group, making cars out of piles of fallen leaves, numerous visits to National Trust properties, walks in the rain, ice creams in the sun, tide fights at the beach, snuggling up with a story book on our bed after lunch, and so much more.
He is now a confident, capable young man, with a strong faith and character. I’m so proud of him, and glad he’s now ready to move on. But for some reason my mother’s heart misses those years of cleaning football boots and grazes on knees, mopping teary eyes and spilt drinks. I don’t want to go back, and I’m excited about the future; it’s the passing of one season and the beginning of a new one. And mostly I’m so grateful we walk into in holding our Heavenly Father’s hand.