Wednesday night was our school graduation night for 2013. We had chosen to cease formal schooling at the end of November but there were still a few things the kids have been doing like preparing for Christmas, Princess writing “thank you’s” to schools for donations of books etc. We went out for a meal and then presented both kids with a ‘graduation certificate’ for their current year level and also a page of achievements of specific physical, emotional, intellectual, social and character items. We presented Matey with his first and it was interesting to watch them both as Matey was glowing with pride and Princess was becoming impatient as she was finding it hard waiting to see what hers included. I would highly recommend this process as it builds their self-esteem up in a great way.
This Christmas has taught me afresh how kids see stuff so differently to us and how I can lose sight of seeing Christmas through childlike eyes. Matey has been so excited about the presents he has bought the rest of the family. It was very interesting going shopping with them and letting them choose presents for people. Then to come home and let them wrap them and keep them a secret. Matey is full of excitement and can’t help but tell you how exciting his present is for you and did you know it is a .., in which you quickly stop him and try to help him learn how to keep good secrets.
We put a hold on sorting and packing books for the ‘Books 4 Cambodia’ project this week as we needed to just spend some time with the kids and prepare for Christmas and Matey’s 8th birthday. Several days still required us to be driving around Melbourne picking up books. 20 questions is a favourite car game at the moment with it usually being about a person, rather than an animal or vegetable/mineral. One day we drove down the peninsula to pick up books and I was tempted to just drive back the freeway as that is the quickest route. Thankfully I chose instead to drive back along the coastal road and the kids were amazed. This was a route hubby and I had often driven years ago but don’t tend to drive anymore as the freeway is quicker. The kids loved it and the talk was amazing about the different things we saw along the way. Sometimes doing a familiar thing a different way or taking a different route can bring a whole new perspective and fun to a situation.
Matey’s birthday is the 23rd December and we always have a party for him. I want to make sure that I never complain it is too close to Christmas and just another ‘hassle’ I need to organise etc. I was reminiscing today how on the New Years Eve nine years ago, we were in a special church service back in Tasmania where my family all lived. The focus was on dreams for the new year. Hubby and I were undergoing IVF attempting to have our second child. We had already gone through 10 agonising years of trying for our first baby which including numerous attempts at IVF and she was now 18 months old. My sister-in-law was fairly new to prophecy and came up to me and said not to worry as God had told her I would have given birth to a baby by Christmas. By March our IVF attempts were still unsuccessful and I can remember thinking that she had got it wrong. I couldn’t possibly give birth to a baby by Christmas. The following month I became pregnant and ended up having Matey a fortnight early two days before Christmas. Thus, we always try to prepare ourselves for a big celebration and then take it easy on Christmas Eve to focus on Christmas and just chill.
It is interesting how the small and seemingly insignificant things can lead to huge discussions. At a central intersection in the town near us, there is a hotel on each corner, with three of them having nightclubs. Whenever we drive to this town or to church or to the city, we need to go through this intersection. One nightclub has been advertising a special mating night for New Years Eve. The flashing sign says that the females will receive a lock and the males a key and you need to find your match. Every time we stop at the lights, the subject comes up from one or other of the kids. The other day, Matey had come to the shops with me to buy something and he really wanted to know all about nightclubs. This led to a huge discussion about values, dating, wise choices etc. So much of life is caught by the kids as we share during our daily life. Matey then says, “Well, what about dayclubs? Are they the same?” I must say, I have never thought about the concept of dayclubs.
Saturday night was the 21st birthday celebration party for a good friend of ours and the kids’ babysitter. It was a royal theme, looking at our identity as a Prince and Princess. Our Princess got totally into it and loved the idea of dressing up. It was a great night and the resultant midnight to bed was not great the next few days with tired kids. It helped us appreciate how important good sleeping habits and also healthy nutrition is to enable kids to operate at their optimum. A friend was sharing how lack of sleep can affect kids for up to a fortnight!!
I am going to take a fortnight break from blogging so as to firstly spend time listening to God about how I need to change so as to become the person He needs me to be so as to realise what lies ahead in 2014 for us and secondly, to contemplate our parenting styles and appropriateness of parenting two very different children and how best we can help them to be others centered and to reach their full potential.
Wishing you a beautiful, peaceful and memorable Christmas and a New Year full of hope, promises and dreams realised.