How are you? How are you settling into the New Year? I want to tell you all about my new garden plot at the Mullumbimby Community Garden and tell you all about the planting out for my green wall but last Wednesday the kids started at their new school and with all the thoughts and emotions still swimming around I would like to share with you while I’m still trying to process everything…As I mentioned in my previous post the last six or seven weeks have really just felt like one our previous holidays up this way, visiting family, catching up with friends, spending time at the beach. I have had to keep reminding myself that this was our new life now. Last Wednesday really confirmed that for me.
There have been a few delays to the house and the builder is now hoping to have everything finished by the first week in March… We have spent the last six or seven weeks moving between family and then once the school holidays finished (and the holiday rates dropped) we found a little apartment in a place called Cotton Beach, just down the road from where we will be living. As much as we have deeply appreciated staying with family, having our own space is wonderful, and we can start to get into the swing of our new lives now that we are based in the area, even if this little apartment is only temporary.
We decided back in August that we really wanted the kids to attend Shearwater Steiner school in Mullumbimby. We flew up for interviews and a school tour. The school indicated during the application process that Kobi (Year 9) and Maya (Year 8) grades were very full and that they couldn’t guarantee a place, but Eden (Year 11) was immediately offered a place. We remained hopeful but decided if a place didn’t come available for Kobi or Maya that I would homeschool until it did. The idea of homeschooling when we are just settling in to a new community wasn’t ideal but our children have spent most of their schooling years in alternative schools, it is something that really suits our kids and our family, and we were just not prepared to compromise. The Monday before school started the kids had another interview with their Class Guardians. Class Guardians are like Homeroom teachers. A male and female teacher are allocated to each grade starting from year 7 and follow the children through to year 12. The grade meet with their Guardians each morning, are there for support, join them on camps and sometimes teach them certain subjects. So Eden, Kobi and Maya went along and spoke to their Guardians. We still didn’t know if Kobi and Maya were able to attend, so the nerves were running strong…but I have to say they were amazing! They answered all the questions, asked their own questions and conversed confidently. The main concern was with the amount of students in Kobi’s year and confirming those numbers before being able to give us a definitive answer. On Tuesday, the day before school started, Shearwater school called to say that Kobi and Maya had a place at the school. I did a lot cheering and cried some tears of joy. It was the last piece of the puzzle. Wednesday morning I drove them out to the school. The car was filled with nervous excitement. This is now their fourth new school. The fourth time at being the new kids. They are strong, confident, resilient kids but first day is always hard. Eden was feeling more and more anxious as we drove closer to the school. I pointed to her heart and said, ‘I am right here with you every minute of today and always’. We met one of Maya’s Guardians at the office and he kindly walked each of the kids to their home rooms. I gave them all a quick hug goodbye and left overwhelmed with so many emotions. So proud, so concerned, so excited, so scared… I couldn’t wait for 3pm to see their faces and hear all about their days.
Shearwater is a half an hour drive from our new home, so Benji and I are going to share the driving and each spend two days a week in Mullumbimby. Benji is going to work from a hot desk and I plan to spend my time between the Community Garden, studying at the library, and exploring in and around the area. Now that our new chapter has begun I am searching for ways to help the kids, Benji and I build a new community. I am searching community and school notice boards, googling clubs and activities and I even put a message on the local Facebook page for suggestions…we have family close by and a few friends up the coast but it is about building a local community. It will take some time, but we will get there…
Today is Eden, Kobi and Maya’s fifth day at their new school. They are building new friendships, navigating themselves around a new school, and trying to remember teacher’s names. There has been some tears and there has been laughter but as my Mum likes to say, ‘they never cease to amaze me’. My three beautiful children. They make me so proud. They are my best friends. It is a privilege to know them and an honour to be their Mum and to share this new chapter with them.
So as I swim through all the emotions I keep reminding myself that as this new chapter unfolds we may fumble here and there, but we are doing this together and that is all that matters.
Love Tash x