Die Hindernisbaan ~ the obstacle course
Moving provinces, changing careers, enrolling your children in a “foreign” language school. Our decisions have been described by some as brave. I’m sure there are people quietly thinking us crazy. I know I have at times!
You can lay out all the pros & cons of a decision, analyse these intensely and repeatedly (usually at 3am when you can’t sleep), but there comes a time when you just have to go with one or the other option and hope it works out. A leap of faith.
A big one on the “cons list” for our move from Howick, KZN, to Kampersrus, Limpopo for me was the loss of my community in Howick. Loss isn’t quite accurate – they are still there; family and friends are for life. But the loss of their day-to-day involvement in my life. People who, when you have that “I forgot my kids at school” moment (we’ve all had it haven’t we? Surely??), you can phone up and they will fetch, feed & convince your kids that you are not negligent or going off the deep end (even though they know better than most that you actually, most probably are). Then you drink wine together, laugh off your mom-guilt and wait for the moment you get to pay it forward.
But trust is a big thing. It takes time to build with other people. Even longer to trust yourself sometimes, but that’s a whole other Blog Post…
So when you find yourself in a town of strangers, feel like you are making a fool of yourself whenever you speak, figuring out skool roosters and sports span lyste, and have no one to laugh & contextualise it with over a glass of wine, has been a huge lesson in navigating obstacles.
I have often felt brought to my knees, struggling under the barbed wire through the Mud Pit. FYI, I categorically would NOT be shortlisted in a GI Jane remake…
Putting yourself in the hands of unknown parents, trusting them to drive your child on up-to 6hr round trips to a sport fixtures. Teachers who have the inconvenience of an English-speaking child in an all-Afrikaans class. Tentatively suggesting a coffee (too nervous to say wine) with another mom.
Walking the Balance Beam…
And it has been the most humbling expression of the human spirit. Of care and compassion.
A worrying mom-heart soothed by messages pinging through, not only from the parents lifting my child, but from the school principal, coaches and other parents with updates on a stellar sports performance. Of teachers, who ordinarily work huge hours in a front-line job, shaping the futures of our children, going above and beyond because they genuinely want your child to succeed. Offering reassurance. Phoning to check in on “hoe gaan dit met sy haart?” because they are concerned about your child writing their first test. A mom phoning you because sport finished earlier than you thought (face-palm) and offering to drop your child off.
Stuck on the Cargo Nets wondering whether to go back, onward or change direction completely, these are the hands held out, encouraging, showing the way.
Trusting strangers to love and care for your children is one of the biggest leaps of faith you can take, and I am so grateful to have landed in a community that is all heart and quietly cheering you over the finish line.