School is out for Sami and AJ!
AJ had his last day of school on Friday. After a moody start to the day on his part, he had a very good day. I didn't go on the bushwalk with the class as Sami had decided to take the day off and we did some other things. After the previous week, when it seemed that AJ was getting into trouble all the time, I didn't want to go, and left it up to AJ as to whether he wanted to or not. He did. The teachers gave him the role of Leader and he enjoyed that and actually did what they asked. I don't know what to make of that. They said he "plays up" more when I'm there. Maybe he feels he can be himself when I'm there and not restricted and told he can't look at something interesting. I think there's been so much change around here that it's catching up with him. He's been different and a bit distant and I'm looking forward to getting closer again.
AJ's class did a lovely goodbye ceremony for him. Ok, I had a few tears. We've been at the school for almost a year. We've met a lot of friends there and it did have a lot of good points - the festivals, the singing, the music, the plays, the crafts, the art, the community. The school itself is absolutely lovely, with it's wood and stone buildings and bushland setting. Sami seemed pretty content there. There were some things she didn't like, but on the whole, she enjoyed her experience there. She had a very special bond with her teacher and, yesterday afternoon as they were saying goodbye, I had more tears. I was grateful to this woman for treating Sami with such gentle love and care and guiding her in ways that I have not been able to. I cried to release the mixed feelings that have come with the children being in school, and later I cried some more to finish that process and out of relief that we were finally getting on with the next phase in our lives.
When I picked Sami up yesterday, she looked very happy. She'd been given some special things from Tracey (teacher) and the class. She was surprised that she got to take home all of her books and pencils from her desk. When we got home, she happily went through it all looking at her different crafts and paintings and things. We are actually going back to the school today to a surprise birthday morning tea that I have arranged for Tracey from the whole class. I feel that Sami and Tracey will keep in touch regularly, whether it's us popping into the school to see her if we're in the area, or by email, they will continue their friendship, and that's comforting to Sami.
Sami has grown up a lot in the last year. She still struggles at times (don't we all) and can be very dramatic, but she also has a calmness and gentleness that seems deeper. She often helps out around here without being asked, and is willing to help out when I do ask. AJ loves to annoy her and I hope he calms down a bit now that he doesn't have the school influence and they can spend lots of time swimming and playing together.
I was going to download some photos to post here, but I just realised that the camera is in the under-seat-converted-into-a-bed-storage that Nicholas is sleeping on at the moment. I think we're going to find living in this a bit cramped now that the kids are out of school. Sami really needs to have her own space so she sleeps and keeps her special things in one of the end "bedrooms". Cary and I sleep at the other end and the boys sleep right next to us, with just an optional curtain between us, on the seating that converts to a bed, which is a bit of a bother to set up every night and break down every morning. Finding time for intimacy is a bit tricky, but we do have the annexe as an extra room (not that there is much room in there though) after the kids are asleep and I'm thinking about setting up a small tent outside. The lovely "afternoon quickie" has been put on hold at the moment as it's impossible to sneak off to another room while the kids are busy. With Cary in the US at the moment, it's all on hold anyway. Hope he's back soon!
Something we've found about this lifestyle is that clutter accumulates rapidly. It doesn't take much at all for the place to look like it's been through a tornado, so I need to stay fairly organised. Still loving it though!