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.
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.