I’m feeling rough today: literally drained by a tummy bug. In the spring sun I’m soaking in my recuperation as I can’t eat anything and rather than thinking about all the things I should be doing, I can think and write about what has been this week.
This week has been defined by growth. Sally the lamb has grown considerably and really should be living outside now. But when I shut her out in the garden, yesterday, she spent the whole time hurling herself against the conservatory doors. I think the bonding process of sleeping with her on the sofa and bottle feeding her through the night was too powerful. But she needed the warmth then and hadn’t learnt to bottle feed having just been taken off her mother that day. As soon as she is big enough to withstand the Billy Goat’s death threat she’ll be a normal sheep in the field. But as it is today, she has brought so much laughter into the house. She always starts bleating when the microwave beeps and Tim without fail will comment,
“There’s a sheep on the sofa”, when he comes home from work. If anyone runs she runs after them and occasionally does a bit of springbok pronking on all four feet (and rather more rapidly than a springbok).
Sometimes when you live with something you don’t notice its growth until you stop to measure it. This week was the annual head count of regular attendees at church. We put little emphasis on numbers because that as the only emphasis can skew perspective and create an unhealthy drive. As was demonstrated by my NHS employed violin pupil. She came into her lesson yesterday, set her fiddle up, began explaining what pieces she’d been working on and how she’d found them and with that she burst into tears. She then explained that her tears were nothing to do with violin but with the pressure she is experiencing at work, where personal value is being diminished and replaced by results. It made me so sad to see her so upset and I was unable to do anything but listen.
So, for fear of losing a sense of value in the individual, it’s only once a year that we do a head count as a measure. It was exciting to learn that the church has grown by over 40% since this time last year. It’s been the steady natural growth that, like the lamb, you don’t really notice because you live with it. I’m excited by the fact that by the end of the year there will be 58 children attending – by the end of the year because three are unborn. If I’m going to be pedantic there could be more if there is a multiple birth amongst the expected!
Son No. 2 also had one of those milestone measuring moments in an 11th birthday – recorded with photos and compared to previous years. When compared we see his growth. He did look me almost in the eye and comment that he hasn’t far to go to reach my height! Yes, so true. He had such a lovely day. We always give the birthday boy or girl the privilege of staying up late on their birthday. This gives them a bit if special time with us and the opportunity to enjoy their presents without other brothers and sisters being interested. Son No.2, who had requested a Chemistry set for his birthday, had spent most of the day doing experiments and adding to the impression of being like his Oupa, wasn’t sure how to spend his evening. I said I’d play a game with him when I’d finished what I was doing but before I’d finished I overheard Tim saying,
“Do you want to play a game with your mother or play on my iPad?”. I couldn’t help laughing! The choices are incomparable, especially as they are never generally allowed to play games on the iPad.
It is now hailing. The cat has brought in a dead baby rabbit and is growling at the lamb to keep away. Confused cat! And I think I am sufficiently recuperated to move on.