Ben and Josiah arrived back in Ukarumpa two weeks ago, and I am finally taking time to write an update. The biggest highlight for our family in the last couple of weeks Josiah’s venture to the 7th grade. It’s a pretty big transition here in Ukarumpa to move from the primary (elementary) campus to the secondary one (high school). Not only does he need to get to school earlier, but he also must go to various classes with the correct books (!) and has a significant amount of homework each week day. All of a sudden he’s got youth group/community group and the youth service called Soul Purpose each week on top of all of the new school stuff going on. PLUS he decided to start working out for P.E. so he leaves the house at 7 am each morning. Because of his big homework load, he often stays after school to work in the library, which I think is a great plan since he has a fair bit of chaos when he gets home.
Overall, I think Joe has coped well doing all of this one handed, but it has been an intense parenting week as he needs to debrief about all the new things he is encountering each evening. Ben and I agreed that having him talk to us so much is a new (unexpected) blessing…hopefully he will continue to confide in us in the years ahead.
I wonder if this kind of transition is a bit rough for anyone, not just MKs. In Illinois, Josiah would have had this big move a year ago, since middle school starts in 6th grade there. To me, it’s just the beginning of the ‘letting go’ process of parenting. I’m not responsible for checking his homework, making sure he studies for tests or sending a lunch with him (he packs one himself or walks home to eat here). Instead, I’m more concerned about his emotional and spiritual well being, while he looks to his dad for guidance about what the journey to manhood is going to be about. I get all nostalgic thinking about when he was little and I could take him with me everywhere I went. Now he has many siblings and he’s becoming a young man. All of this makes me desire God more and more for each of my children. It also hits home the fact that the longer I’m a parent and the more children I have, the more I realize how LITTLE I know about raising kids. I am thankful for those who are walking this road with me and for our godly parents who have gone ahead of us.