What I Learned In August (2016 Edition)
This month began with me starting school and ended with Big D leaving on a plane so he could start school. It has been a full month getting into a good rhythm at school and spending time with Big D before he left. As I look back on the month, here are my lessons for August.
1. I Need My Evening Walks With My Honey
Most evenings after supper, you will find my honey and I walking along the beach road. The weather is usually cool with the breeze coming off the ocean. The sound of the waves helps relieve the stress of the day. The time together gives us time to reconnect and debrief our day. An added bonus is that I log a few more steps on my fitbit. It is rainy season which can make walking some evenings challenging. I notice if we go too many days without our walks that I breathe a sigh of relief when we get back on schedule.
2. My Son Can Cook
This month I came home two different times at noon to find lunch all ready for me. The first time Big D made pizza. The second time, it was tortillas for burritos. Then last weekend he made a key lime pie. He is finding that cooking takes practice and a good recipe. I look forward to more of his cooking at Christmas break.
3. Saying Good Bye to Big D was Harder This Year
My son, Big D, is starting his 11th grade year at a boarding school in Germany. It will be his second year at the school. Last year we could not have asked for a better year. He was on the yearbook and enjoyed playing on the volleyball team. He made great friends and had a good dorm. I thought knowing all these things would make it easier to say good bye. It didn't.
I tried to figure out what was different. Last year after saying good bye, we returned to Central Asia and moved to a different city. A city and house Big D had never lived in. We didn't even have a guest room so when he and his sister came to visit, they slept in the living room. Big D was not part of the normal there.
On the other hand, Big D spent the summer with us here in West Africa. He had his own room. He made memories with and was part of our everyday life. Now he is gone, and there is an empty space where he was.
I am thankful that we will see him again in a few months. I rest in the fact that God has Big D in his hand and that Big D is in the best place for him for this season.
3. Ping Pong is a Great Way to Spend Time with My Son
This month, my honey and Big D made a ping pong table. We had found a net, paddles, and balls in the school room. All we needed was a table. The table has its own quirks but does the job. For example, if you hit certain spots the bounce is slightly different.
Big D and I played many games this month. We are pretty evenly matched leaving us tied in the number of games won.
I remember playing ping pong with my dad most every night during the winter. It was a surprise to find that I could still play well enough to be competitive with my son. It was also a great way to spend time together. Hopefully I can still keep up with him at Christmas break. Maybe my students will practice with me.
4. I Can Do This Job
I am a teacher of a one room school in West Africa. My students include one second grader, three middle schoolers, and two high schoolers. I am fully in charge of three of them. For the others, I provide structure and tutoring if needed. My first week was crazy. I felt like I had to be in two places at once. I had no idea if I would be able to give them the education they needed. Besides this, I was exhausted at the end of each day.
Now that we have settled into a routine, the students are able to do more things independently, and I am learning how to plan the day so that I maximize my time with each student. It is a help that my students are hard workers and have good attitudes.
I love my new job. It takes all my previous experience from being a high school teacher and homeschooling mom and puts that experience to work. On any given day, I am singing rhymes to explaining adding fractions. On another day, I am reviewing bones, explaining outlining, or even teaching how to catch and throw a ball. I have a feeling I will not get bored. Now if I could just figure out how to get the Lego robot to work, I will be all set.
That's all for this month. What have you learned? Any inspirational thoughts or fun tidbits?