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Joshua is off on his first adventure away from home. Rotary has sponsored him on a week long citizenship education programme. He has flown to Canberra (capital city of Australia), will be billeted /hosted with a Rotary family and involved morning till night in a variety of activities. He’s seeing the old and new Parliament houses, the Australian War Memorial, and many of the other institutes and significant places in Canberra. He’ll be involved in role plays, discussions and has to deliver a 90sec speech. It is a very exciting opportunity for him.
It has taken some effort to get him prepared to go. We live in the tropics so to travel to Canberra in the winter is no mean feat! On Saturday he travelled from 40degrees here at home, to 2 degrees in Canberra on the first night. Cold is a completely new experience.
Another completely new experience is the clothes he is required to wear. Business clothes – every day. Tie, Jacket and shoes. Yep – even wearing shoes every day, all day is a new experience. Its not that we don’t wear shoes, its just that barefoot is so much more comfortable!!
A few locals have wondered how I’ve gone – empty nest syndrome and all that. I have actually surprised myself. I have not felt overly anxious or worried about him at all. I must admit, I’ve appreciated the phone calls, and to hear happiness in his voice – he is relaxed and that is a good thing.
I was thinking about this today – We have prepared him for such a time as this. We have brought him up to know God’s ways, to think Biblically, to consider other people first, and to ask questions when he wants to know something. When we send our kids out there is a natural tendency to wonder if it will be all okay. I am sure Josh will experience some knocks, and these maybe hard to take but they will be good for him. It is all too easy to start getting anxious about these things but I firmly believe we have done all that we can and anything that shows up as “negative”, isn’t because we’ve “failed” but because he needs a little more input, a little more maturing, a little more practice. And that is what parenting is all about.