It's Thursday, Bren is probably on his way home from driving the girls to school and I'm alone at the kitchen table in what would be a silent house but for the hummmmm of the dehydrator. All week I've been thinking about how to tell this story from my perspective. How to tell of the early days of starting a new school but without giving any of the girls' personal feelings or anecdotes away.
A while ago, when my girls were not so little anymore, it occurred to me that I have to keep them out of this blog to respect their privacy and their rights to tell their own tales and develop into their own people. Mostly I think I have succeeded although there have been times when we've had to workshop certain issues as a family and come up with solutions that suit everyone. If I stick to my thoughts and feelings and happenings then generally I am safe.
Although I do want to keep to these self imposed rules, I must admit that the censorship means that I am mostly telling less than half of the story and leaving out the best bits.
I long to tell the truth about our experience of parenting adolescents and teens. I'd love to talk about the struggles, the solutions, the failures and the joys. These years have challenged me way beyond the newborn years, they have thrilled me, terrified me, made me scream, and laugh and feel more full of love than I ever thought possible. Maybe if you've been visiting Foxs Lane for a while you've read some of this between the lines. Maybe you have no idea what I'm talking about. I wish I could document these years more openly and feel that cathartic feeling that pressing publish on a meaty post brings. I wish I could read your feed back and know that you're going through it too, or that you remember when you did, or offer me advice, or reading material.
But while I have chosen to have a public profile, while I have chosen to air my dirty laundry for anyone to see, they have not decided the same.
So the story of starting a new high school 50 minutes away from here, a school that until two days ago didn't exist, is told from the mother's perspective only. I'll use broad sweeping statements and tell little bits of the story but if you read between the lines you'll notice the beginnings of something sparkley.
So far the commute has been long but easily doable between the six of us. The different starting and finishing times feels annoying but eventually will surely become valuable social time or homework time. The fact that there is homework assigned still doesn't make sense to me. I'd much prefer them to work outside on the farm or play with their sisters or friends after a day spent in classrooms. But they are enjoying the introductions to their subjects and looking forward to the benefits that a creative arts based school can provide.
Socially, my sweet friend Cath put it best when she described it as turning up at the best party ever - but alone. But knowing my girls, they won't be the new girls for long.
So I guess that's it. Day three and my shoulders are starting to relax and my stress headache is disappearing. It's still early days but I'm feeling a little bit optimistic in our decision.
I know from my limited experience parenting adolescents that there is no such thing as a smooth ride. That there will be bumps and skids and headwinds. I'm just hoping that our girls feel creatively fulfilled. That they feel included and challenged and empowered and educated. I hope they walk out of class sometimes feeling like they are buzzing with the excitement of new knowledge and the big wide world opening up to them. That they feel empowered to change their minds and then change them back again. I hope they feel inspired to go to places they've never been and to stay up late at night reading everything they can about a certain subject. I hope they want to go to school most mornings. I hope they make strong, life long friends.
And I hope we can maintain some sort of Jarrah/Indi/Pepper/Kate/Bren/farm/home/community balance.
I have so many hopes.