And so we are in the midst of embarking once again on this faith journey of drinking from the bitter cup of goodbye. We still have another day together, but the parting looms. We can only trust that in God's mysterious providence this is good for Caleb, and for all of us in some way, in spite of the cost.
Thursday, August 27, 2009
Parenting from Afar
This was the topic of the RVA New Parent Orientation seminar we attended today. In between meeting faculty and touring dorms, we listened to a panel of former MK's (missionary kids) who are now RVA teachers and administrators talk about the grief of leaving kids at boarding school, and how to maintain strong family ties in spite of many miles of distance, because we are still the primary relationship in our kids' lives. Like last year, we appreciated the accumulated wisdom of the talented and dedicated people who make this school what it is. They reminded us that much of this transition is more difficult for the parents/siblings left behind, than for the kids at RVA who have incredible classes, activities, people, opportunities to distract them . . . and we should allow them to thrive and love school. I think I could attend a yearly refresher to just be reminded of God's mercy, of parental commitment to love, of faith in the midst of difficulty, of the resources of the Kingdom. It was very inspiring. And a bit easier the second time. The single biggest factor that convinces Caleb he wants to go to RVA, or us that it is the best thing for him, is Luke's overall positive experience last year. As we pulled into the campus and Luke sighed about the good and the bad of being back . . .he affirmed that the balance was for good, because he had friends here. And that was immediately apparent as he has reconnected with kids as they arrive. This time it is fun to meet people whom he has had as teachers and put faces with the names, to thank in person the pottery teacher and the guidance counselor. We're also meeting other families, some we've known from our times at Kijabe and others we're just meeting, to be reminded of the vast network of people from many nationalities living in remote and difficult and dangerous situations for the sake of serving others.