A dark cloud over our sea change?

Last month, when I wrote about our recent sea change, I waxed lyrical about the bliss of it all. I also pondered ‘what can happen.. when God already knows the outcome?’  But it is turning out that it is our kids that don’t like it here and I am challenged as to how much I am prepared to trust God to lay the path clear.

Dusk on the South Coast

Dusk on the sleepy South Coast of NSW

When the kids arrived at the local public school they made a couple of good friends each, which has been a huge blessing. But the thing that has bothered them the most about their new school? The bad behaviour of some of the other kids. I am talking girls lifting their shirts and saying ‘kiss this!’ type of bad.

Not all the kids, but some.

As one of my sons said, ‘Mum, a lot of the kids just are not polite.’ According to reports from our offspring there is an undercurrent of rudeness and bad language, especially on the bus, that they have found quite difficult to swallow, and a culture of older kids picking on little ones.

There was an incident with an older boy picking on my daughter on the bus. The school was fantastic resolving it and the boy apologised, but even more alarming for my daughter was the way the kids spoke to one another during the altercation – not just the older boy, but the other 8 year old girls.

Because they don’t know the kids, they don’t know who is going to be mean when. The net result is that they don’t feel secure. They have gone from happy, carefree kids to being more reserved and unsure of themselves. It is heart breaking.

And what do I think of all this? Is this the beat of a different drum that I craved for my family?

I have had good reason to teach them the ‘when life give you lemons make lemonade’ ethos.  This is good for them, isn’t it? I am sure the kids will tease me later in life for sending them to school with the parting line, ‘Have a lemonade day!”

Two verses come to mind from which I can help them draw strength:

Romans 5:3-4 “..We also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.”

Romans 8:-28 “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

We came here to extend our lives for a while, live more simply, escape the materialism of the north shore and theoretically live more peacefully. But the grass isn’t necessarily greener (well, actually on the South Coast of NSW the grass is very green) and now the decision is left: Have we already learned the lesson He had in mind and can we go home now?

More to ponder.


About Libby Malcolm

Libby Malcolm is an internet professional based in Sydney.
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5 Responses to A dark cloud over our sea change?

  1. vic small says:

    Hi Libby
    Love your thoughts and pondering. I would say sit it out – under your wisdom they will grow through it and be ok? I learnt alot from you just reading that! There are not soooo many weeks left of the term Can they be little missionaries showing another side of life? Good on you for seriously thinking it all through. I have been doing some big reflecting on the North shore life and christians and how we so easily just act like everyone else, what distinguishes us from our non christian neighbours? we have same brands, house, car etc etc So I think you are having an awesome opportunity BUT it is so hard to see kiddies hurt. Hang in there…keep us posted…

  2. Nikki Walters says:

    I am not really sure what to say and have no real advice. The North Shore in Sydney is materialistic and somewhat protected from the ‘real world’. Mind you all my boys know all (and I do mean all) the swear/rude words and occasionally get caught using bad language (the worst offender is the youngest and has been disciplined). I in fact don’t get too worried about language but do stress the importance of manners ( essentially – kindness, thoughtfulness and being unselfish in general). I think they are much more key to the success of a society. I am totally clear on bullying. Our society has tolerated far too much of it and it must be dealt with in every situation. Sorry I can’t add more except maybe to say that a mother’s instinct is invaluable and it will let you know what the right thing to do is (along with prayer).

  3. Pip Forsyth says:

    Hey Lib,

    I just want to drive in the car and give you a huge hug, turn the kettle on or possibly have a nice glass of wine and just ‘be’.

    I agree whole-heartedly with Nikki. Coming from Northshore roots myself I have great family memories but I too was bullied extensively. I too don’t tolerate this style of behaviour and hope that your children turn to inner strength and their parents for guidance as well as your faith.

    My girls have been told time and time again that “manners will take you everywhere” and I know that your crew have been taught same… do you think some of your lovely ‘shine’ can rub off on them (the bus bridade!)? rather than creating a path of insecurity.

    Love to all, p xx

    I know that you will find the right answer for your family as a whole.

  4. Tim Evans says:

    Dear Libby –

    I find it bery interesting your use of the word “home” in your final sentence – you are clearly indicating that “home” isn’t Kiama.

    That speaks volumes.

    Stay strong!

    T x

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