Phew, can not quite believe that we’ve arrived at the end of the third week in January and the school bells are ringing loud and clear.

Today we watched Lachlan spread his wings and fly out the door (well he actually ran!) to begin boarding school,  eager to see what the bigger world has to offer. Boarding school is a part of life for our family, the kids all know that once primary school is completed there is no secondary option that is right for them, and so it is they pack a bag and begin the next stage of learning.

After teaching him for 7 years in our Distance Education schoolroom, I know this child is more than ready.

The lure of sport (and cricket in particular) is strong.

I did actually giggle, when, in all seriousness, he asked over the holidays, “Will I need school books?”

He hadn’t quite registered that boarding school was not just about sport and playing with your mates, there would indeed be many hours spent studying books!!

This little man is an integral part of our mustering team. He knows his cows, is a pretty handy horseman and has a fantastic work ethic. We sure are going to miss his help.

Hamish, who is just eighteen months younger, knows that he will be stepping up into some big boots. He’s more than ready. It is such a privilege to watch these kids grow and learn.

Andrew is also heading back to start his 4th year of boarding. Rob relishes having him home for holidays as well.

So many jobs are ticked off a diverse job list. This past 6 week holiday list as an example:

  • repairing fences
  • cutting and ripping out ironbark fence posts
  • branding calves
  • mowing the lawn
  • standing new fence posts
  • shifting mobs of cattle into their next fresh paddock
  • dipping cows that have a ‘tick’ load
  • painting
  • building a new pool deck (& then swimming in the pool!)
  • shifting pigs into a fresh patch
  • making sausages
  • watching the cricket (& practicing cricket)
  • building a chicken tractor
  • cleaning cattle yards

While working, we’ve had a few chats about what boarding school will be like. My heart melted yesterday,  as we sat under at an Ironbark camp, holding a mob of cows, Lachlan asked if I would mind printing a few photos of home for his wall.

I can easily manage that for him, and I also promised to send lots of photo messages to his phone, showing him that his 3 siblings at home are keeping things humming.

I also reassured him that nobody would ride his horse and we will indeed miss both his & Andrew’s assistance.

I also pointed out some benefits to boarding – no unpacking the dishwasher, having to milk the cow each morning or having to peel vegetables fo dinner,

Tonight, like a lot of my fellow boarding Mums, I’m feeling both a little sad and a little proud. As a parent this is exactly what you wish for your child, a confident fluter of their wings as they explore the wonders of the world.

It just doesn’t make those empty chairs at the dinner table any easier.

 

 

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There are 5 comments on this article:

  • On 21/01/2018 Jacqui Beale said:

    So agree… although I only have two children and have been on the boarding school journey for some time. I struggle with the quiet house, empty spots at the dinner dinner table, not a full load in the washing machine and general alround extra hands to help and so the list goes on. Have to admit I cannot bear to go into their rooms for the first fews weeks on their return to school. Soooo understand women/parents who have closed the door to their child’s room for a child lost forever. (Always thought this could be an interesting case study – how parents react) My husband and I go into a ‘morning phase’ on their return and basically we are hopeless. It never has got any easier over time, although deep down we want them to fly. We totally understand this is the only option for us but also the best.
    Weaner Mum💓

  • On 22/01/2018 marie said:

    Wow. Living in the city suburbs this was both Wonderful to read…and heart wrenching.
    We see oue kids every day. . . but they certainlt do not have such a RICH life !
    (by RICH I mean enriched with a solid family purpose and connection with both the land and rhe work and the
    relationships and WORTHWHILE pursuits )
    May the home visits be joyous occasions. . .may he follow exactly the path rhats best for him that your heart is full at every stage of his life.
    You gave him GOOD STRONG WINGS.
    well done.

  • On 22/01/2018 Bruna Jaffer said:

    What a fantastic post! And it’s a happy positive one and I am fortunate to read it.
    A great experience for those kids as many would never get the chance, they’ll grow up with life skills. … I grew up in Alice Springs, was born there, had some time on school friends farms/stations.
    What a great life!! I have said all my life that I should have been a jillaroo and then married a stockman…but didn’t.😣😣😣
    If I had my time again, I would in a heartbeat!!

  • On 22/01/2018 Marina said:

    Was never easy, we forgo so much to let their wings spread but when you see their opprtunities that are at their fingertips it al seems worthwhile. They will never know the heartache but I would do it all over again. Our boys are now 23 an

  • On 23/01/2018 Maureen Groves said:

    Bless you all. You will all miss your band of workers. It is such a great upbringing, the kids handle life’s challenges with courage. I know how much you will miss your kids., but hopefully the time will pass quickly. Love to you all.

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