Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Beginning of the new school year and we’re back to the harried life of waking at 5.30am, school runs, missing books, incomplete stationery, form-filling and orientation.

Owain started off on his first few days looking stoic and bored, grimacing everytime his trigger-happy camera-toting mother got in his face to take the umpteenth shot of him – well, he DOES look very cute in his new school uniform! Other than that, he seems enthusiastic and eager, having made a grand total of ONE friend (whose name he does not know) and pestering us to (a) send him to school on time (b) pack his bag for him and sign his forms and (c) choose the right storybook for him – he wanted to bring the bible at first, only for the reason that it was thick and impressive but I put my foot down. I wonder how long all this enthusiasm will last!

On the other hand, Isaac did not have a good start because both KH and I had refused to sign his report card for last year. He got an earful from me when I did sign and we agreed that there should be less slacking and more effort made in his studies for this year with the target of raising one grade at least this year. He can do much better, I am confident of that. I just need to find the right motivational trigger.

Caitlin got off to a good start, with gym training from the 1st day of school. Mr Lim has already warned us that this will only get more intense as training is ramped up over the weeks in preparation for the Nationals. We’ll have to make a decision soon re dance training too. On the academic side, the P3 girls were streamed into their new ability-based classes. They had ended P2 not knowing which class they would go to in the new year and when I asked last November, I was told the teachers had to meet to deliberate over this.

So on the first day of school, the girls were seated in the hall and names were called for the girls to join their classes. I was told that they did this in order of “the best to the worst” and Cait’s name being the 4th to be called, had been selected for Ixora, the best class. While I’m pleased and proud of her, I can’t help feeling that there’s got to be a better way of doing this. If Cait is right, and I have my doubts on whether she had exaggerated or not, then it must be quite morale-lowering to be told that you were in the bottom class. As mom to a kid like Gillian who struggled all through primary school and was clearly scraping rock bottom all the way, I can understand how painful this can feel – for the girls and their parents – to be told that your daughter was not among the brightest or the best. And to be told like this – in front of everyone? Ugh.

Gillian also started off well with being made science rep and environment rep for the class. The latter she protested that she did not sign up for and was arrowed to do it when she happened to raise her hand to open the window. The teacher pounced and said: “You have a pleasant and helpful face! You’ll do it then!” When I beamed in congratulations, she moaned, “But no one wants the environment rep job mom! I’ll have to lug down all the trash, all the heavy bottles, recycle them and so on you know!” Thankfully her good friend was also roped in as environment rep so the two girls will chatter while they recycle! Being in Sec 3, the school is kicking off the year with an overseas camp in Malaysia and she’s looking forward to that too. She’ll be back just in time to celebrate turning 15! So I’d say school started out on a bright note for her. Plus being in Sec 3 means she gets to lord it over the blur freshie Sec 1 girls!

On my end, I have moved office to a smaller space, a less private space. After five years of being in a room with a coveted window space, with a roomie who is so nice and accommodating, it’s going to take time to get used to this. I have been a bit depressed over this for a while but I’ve just got to learn to adjust, let go and move on. God always knows best and He’s given me this for a reason so I will learn to make the best of it and to move on.

Still, I can’t shake it but my gut feel senses rough seas ahead and I’m bracing myself for this. But I also try to be mindful and live in the moment and not worry too much over what has not happened yet. Even as I see dark clouds, there is also a lot to look forward to – bright patchwork pieces in life, such as my children’s gym and floorball competitions, bowling tournaments, lazy Saturday breakfasts with KH in the park, more of my favourite frothy K-dramas, sussing out new places to eat, meeting with old friends, travelling closer to home, hanging out more with my parents, perhaps a wedding(?) and just watching my children grow. I will hold these bright spots in my life and be thankful for all I have.

2009 has taught me these lessons (1) life can flip on its end overnight. Case in point – dad’s sudden but long illness with pancreatitis, (2) life means letting go and carving out a new path, leaving your crutches behind – my hysterectomy and my inner struggle with identity as a woman and a mother, letting go of any more babies that might have come my way and changing the way I see myself. Sometimes resisting only makes it harder. But if you let go and let God, maybe you’d have a different life, not a bad life, just one that is different.


Cory said...

did isaac panic?

your life is full and beautiful :) and you're right. remember once you told me things will resolve by itself in some ways? perhaps for me it did, a long-winded way, but it did.

like you, i sense rough seas ahead. and sometimes i wonder if i should just take the easier road and walk away. but life can flip over on its end overnight, and where would i be now.

i've got to learn to let go and let God, too.

Hugs :) and happy new year!

Momto5 said...

Isaac never panics. More's the pity. He just puts on this blank mask of a face that is really hard to read at times.

Yes dear friend, let go and let God! Things will resolve themselves when the time is right. Sometime later we will look back and (maybe not) laugh. Take care and have a great, wonderful, love-filled, happy 2010 - you and your boys - you absolutely deserve this!

Santhi said...

The Bible- eh... very impressive indeed. simply shows how much he enjoys God's words ;D

Glad for you about Cait going to top class and I strongly agree that the school should have been more sensitive to how the class allocation was done.

Momto5 said...

Hi Santhi

Nah... nothing like that at all. He just wanted the thickest book around to show off! ;-p

The Chengs said...

Still dreaming over your 2nd-last para.