I never did get as far as writing about how the kids responded to the news of Rob quitting school. I will start by saying that it did weigh heavily on the girls knowing that their life in this area was temporary. The transition from the city to the country did not originally go as smoothly as expected. The girls did have some trouble making the adjustment to their new school and surroundings. I suppose we were a bit naive in thinking that they would absolutely love the new place and not desire what they were used to. We thought that since they already knew people in the area it would be an easy change, but in reality this probably made it more difficult as they have some preconceived ideas about the place and the people that they had to overcome. It definitely took some time to settle in here, longer then we expected, but in the end the kids love it here and do not desire to move back to their old home in the city.
With memories of their last move in their head the girls were move apprehensive about the idea of having to move again. This time we were not so naive and although they could get a bit of comfort out of the fact that it just takes time and with time they were able to like this place, it still made the thought difficult. I feel for all preachers children who have to live with this constant feeling of being uprooted at any time. The girls settled in her and mostly found their places but always in the back of their mind was the fact that it wasn’t permanent. When they talked at school about future grades and activities they were always left realizing they wouldn’t be there then. They struggled with the fact that whenever we talked about things we had to think about the fact that we were only here for a few years and that what we acquired might need to be moved a long distance.
Only a couple weeks before the girls found out we were staying I again had to comfort one of them as she cried about not wanting to leave here. This was even more difficult to do because I had a pretty good sense that she wouldn’t need to leave and wanted to just say so. I have reminded them time and again since that we have to live each day to it’s fullest. If we spend all our time worrying about the future and trying not to get to detached because of that fear then we would never enjoy the life we had at the moment. We would talk about how we had to just make the best of the time we had where God had put us at that time and not worry about what was to come because we had no idea where God would lead us. Maybe the next place would be better, maybe worse, maybe we wouldn’t leave at all. All of these things were talked about. I also tried to convince the girls that if they would just learn to get along and be best friends then they would be able to take their best friend with whereever they went … that theory never worked ;)
At one point in the past year Marietta had said to me “This isn’t really nice and I don’t really mean it that way, but I wish that dad will fail Classis” Her theory was that if Rob failed Classis then she would get to stay here longer and be able to graduate from Grade 8 with her class. While she didn’t want her dad to do bad or fail, she did want to stick around a bit longer and she figured this way to accomplish this wish. In the end she could have gotten her wish anyways, since Rob was originally going to postpone going to Classis.
So when it came time to tell the kids that we were going to stay Rob told Marietta that she would get to graduate with her class. At the same time he told Rebecca that she too would get to graduate with her class. Marietta was too busy processing her side of the information. This wasn’t total news to her since we had already told them with the decision to postpone Classis that she would likely graduate with her class, but she was processing that now Dad was confident she would get to. Meanwhile I was watching Rebecca who nearly jumped off her seat when she heard that she would get to graduate here too. But when Marietta did not catch that part of the conversation I seen Rebecca settle back down, probably thinking that she had misunderstood. But her little mind was working, because when Dad restated that Rebecca would get to graduate too she was quick to ask “We’re staying here??” Now Marietta clued in as well. As we explained the decision to stay Marietta grins and says to Rob “It took you six years of school to figure that out?!?!?” She was joking, although probably part serious too, but we had a good chuckle.
I should add that Matthew is completely oblivious to all that has changed. In his 4 year old mind he never understood that we would be moving on at some time. It’s not that we didn’t tell him that he would go to a new school sometime, but he simply didn’t understand and that was just fine. So nothing has changed for him.
For the girls this was totally new news and they are still adjusting to the idea, with extreme excitement. They tried not to act too excited about the decision, likely because they thought this would hurt dad’s feelings, but we knew that they were just glad that the uncertainty of their future was gone (not that it is truly gone as our future is always uncertain). Lots of questions come about the future the biggest one being where we will live. Now they just have to learn to be patient as all these things will take time.
For Rob and I it’s almost like this is old news now. More in the sense that we’ve been wrestling with it for the past year. We’re thankful that the wrestling back and forth of what to do is gone and now that the decision is made we’re ready to move on. It feels a little like when we were dating and making plans for our future. It’s just seems that much more difficult when one thinks of purchasing a house in the high market today while trying to pay full tuition to elementary school and pre-tuition to high school (knowing that that will increase in a couple years). Ouch! And we thought it was difficult when we bought our first house. Yet we’ve learned a lot over the last few years and the old saying “the money is always there” has rung true in more ways then one. So we can move on in the faith that if our focus remains on Him then He will continue to care for us.