Home' Capricornus Quarterly : CQ Dec 2015 Jan 2016 Contents 17
A view from home
The McArthur Family of Mystery Park,
St Lawrence, is typical of many Australian
farming families coping with children at
boarding school. This year was Andrew’s first
year away and as he entered Year 7 at the
start of 2015, mum, Ainsley expressed her
feelings in her blog, From the Verandah.
The blog invites readers to “share
our evolving story, share where we are
now and where we are heading.”
Here, Ainsley shares her blogs with
as the year began and ended.
Ready to spread his wings
Jan. 24, 2015 by firstname.lastname@example.org
Andrew is beyond excited, chatting about
the changes, gathering his belongings
at the door, delegating his chores to his
siblings and counting dow n the sleeps.
I did notice he became a little quieter
earlier in the week although perhaps this
was wistful thinking on his mother’s behalf
that he might miss us a tiny little bit!
Rather than dwell on the separation,
we’ve been spending a little quality
time together in between the branding,
fencing and shed cleaning.
With a couple of the creeks hav ing a
little r un, the kids have pleaded with
us to have a bbq lunch on the edge of
the stream the past two weekends.
They’ve claimed a lick trough as
their own and it is now a water craft.
A couple of wire fence droppers
have been adopted as paddles and
they’ve simply had hours of fun.
While we are fortunate that Andrew
will only be two hours from home
and we will be seeing him regularly,
I know the little people are going
to miss his companionship.
Today I spotted them sitting on
the edge of the stream... sharing a
joke and a packet of stale chips.
I think most mothers have the
conflicting thoughts of wanting their
babies to stop grow ing yet in reality we
want them to leave the nest, spread their
wings and grow into fine young adults.
So change is in the air, another of our
children is about to spread their wings
and we begin a whole new chapter.
Reflecting on our first
year of boarding school
Nov. 24, 2015 by email@example.com
Seems just yesterday that we opened
the page on the chapter of A ndrew’s
first year of boarding school....
Excited he was, as he settled into
his new sleeping space, desk and
conversed with room mates....
As part of the pioneering cohort of Year
7’s moving to high school in Queensland, I
worried about him being so young. Eleven
for the first half of the year to be exact.
Of course my fears were unfounded.
He has had a great year and while
we’ve had a few little bumps nothing
has been insurmountable.
Like most things in life, it has been about
partnerships, conversations and working
as a team to achieve the best outcomes.
So what have been the key things
for us, that have meant the year
has been mostly smiles, lots of
grow ing and leaps of learning?
1. Having some connections. Andrew
had completed primary school through
Distance Education and was fortunate that
a few of his classmates had gone onto the
same school... Connections built through
ICPA Sports Camp and the initial RGS
induction at the end of last year were also
instr umental in meaning the big pool of
fish wasn’t completely over whelming.
2. Phone calls. I could set my watch by
them! Ever y night he calls. Not much
to say, mostly one worded answers but
if regularity is any indication, they’re
import ant .... He relishes hea ring snippet s
of information about life at home. The
weather, what’s happening with cattle,
how the little kids are going with school
and when will we be visiting next.
3. Weekends. While he has played
some weekend sport this year, we’ve
made a big effort to bring him home
from school whenever feasible.... It’s
so good for all of us. Naturally there’s
sibling rivalry, pecking orders to be
reestablished and jostling for who’s
turn it is to do what chore. This is
far outweighed by the benefits of
reconnecting with habits of home....
4. Outings. [Andrew] really appreciates
a drop in and a cuddle... [C]alling in
and dropping off a packet of chips
never goes astray with a boarder....
Andrew has successfully managed all
the things I worried about, like laundry,
packing his own port, organising his
school work, being in the right place
at the right time, signing up for extra
Co -curr icular programs, phone credits,
catching buses, managing money,
going shopping and making friends.
He hasn’t had to do it alone and just
as they say, it takes a village to raise
a child. I feel like we’ve conversed
as a team (parents, teachers and
boarding staff) to make sure the
transition is as seamless as possible.
[Soon] there will be lots of mustering,
some fencing, some family bonding,
Christmas celebrations and hopefully
lots of wet days to reflect, renew and
replenish for the year ahead.
Editor’s note: The blog entries here were
edited to suit the space available.
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