We return to school, to routine and I to more regular blogging. Well we’ll see about that! But as it’s one of those exceptionally windy nights that blows our little cottage right into the back drop of the hill it huddles into, it seems a sensible time to sit and write another blog post.
September always has a freshness to it that is evocative of spring, but without bringing the same excitement, as spring promises summer. September promises the drawing in, closing down, wrapping up, colder, darker, hibernating days to come. I saw my first, fallen, brown leaves the other day. They didn’t excite me! But oddly, it isn’t an all depression, doom and gloom, winter’s around the corner, “Oh, NO!” feeling that seems to pervade through September. September holds its own excitement. It has a freshness to it, as I said, and for me is often the time I settle down to well thought out, well planned new creative projects. There is a “new beginning” feel to a new academic year, a new term, a new routine, a new start. It’s a time of collecting in and consolidating the growth that has taken place over the summer. Tonight, I find myself reflecting on the good this past summer has done to us as a family.
I look at No. 1 Son and see how he has turned to write on a new page in attitude and in his relationship with God. What he writes is good news. This spiritual and emotional growth has been shadowed by physical growth and he now stands an inch taller than me (so I wear high heels – as much as possible). I observed his peers in their pristine uniforms, awaiting buses, this morning and felt the keenness of this their first year in secondary school. But they looked (the boys, this is) so small! I realised then, he’s tall and looks older and so gladly sent him down to town on his bike for a hair cut this afternoon, to give him the longer rein of independence.
No. 2 Son begins this new academic year still consuming books at a rate of knots, but showing clear maturity in the digesting of them. I thought giving him “The Hobbit” would satisfy his hunger for a while, but he was a glutton and had finished it in two days. I’m grateful to J.R.R.Tolkein for writing three more books. The library is kindly supplying us with Gerald Durrell books and thus helping save pennies. But it was the reading of a book I found at Granny’s, an autobiography of a vet, that produced the most interesting discussion and showed me the depth of understanding No. 2 Son is developing in his reading. However, his questions this morning into the law of Moses and the law of grace almost had me swimming out of my depth.
No. 1 Daughter came back from camp singing, and singing and singing. She hasn’t stopped all summer and has been praying about wanting to be part of the worship team at church – bless her. With the return to routine, she is back into practising her violin regularly again. She hasn’t much music to be working on at the moment, so she’s been improvising. Once again, she surprises me! She bases her improvisation around her arpeggios and has played with real maturity, without being taught!
And don’t we know it! Her imagination is like a little kernel of yeast and it only take a few grains of sugar to feed it! I’ve discovered that she also carries the “basket gene” that runs very prevalently in the women in my maternal family. Here’s evidence to suggest that someone small has been borrowing one of my baskets:
This is her basket full of imagination (what her game was, I can’t begin to conceive) and I wasn’t too pleased she took my most useful basket. But, I am pleased to note that, with the return to a routine reading regime, the summer has grown her confidence in reading. In seeing this development, she reminds me yet again how important it is to give children space and time to grow at their own pace, especially with the skills they find very hard.
Although we have returned to routine, next week we break it for a brief moment, for a holiday we booked before we knew that our summer would send us each on separate paths apart from each other. It means that a week in a cottage on the beach will be precious time together consolidating all we’ve learnt this summer.