A bountiful blessing of being back in the UK over the last few months was pre-school.
Rufus, as a three year old, got fifteen free hours every term-time week and it was wonderful. We enjoyed the big benefit of having a pre-school attached to our church, and so Rufus was overwhelmingly loved, cared for, and taught by the school’s amazing ‘aunties’.
While most other things shifted around him, Ru relished the routine and familiarity of going to preschool at least three times a week. Arriving, hanging up his coat, grabbing his name label and attaching it to a cup, making a beeline for a favoured activity and loving learning. I think Billy even enjoyed the known pattern of dropping and picking up, as he toddled from car to classroom and back.
It was a season for which we are very grateful. And it set Rufus up for learning and maturing in many ways, whether it be engaging with other children and adults or beginning to gather numbers and letters into his repertoire.
Moving to the States means leaving pre-school behind. While it does happen over here (not for free) we aren’t going down that route and so we’re back to ‘just us’. We, and our home, are the springboard into action of whatever description. Playing, learning, socialising, exploring, maturing…and while I’m excited for the adventures ahead with my little men, I’ll freely admit that I’m a little daunted.
Sometimes, as I think about the coming weeks and months, it feels like taking various secondary school classes through their English curriculum (as I did in a previous life) would be easier. Not least because there are scheduled breaks and changes in those days.
Routines and structures are going to be necessary to keep me sane, I think. And I’ve been frantically scouring Facebook marketplace for anything that might engage and entertain and bring some inspiration to our days.
But I’ve also been reminding myself that it’s a privilege to have time with the boys, and a joy to be able to adventure with them wherever we like, doing whatever comes along and with whoever wants to join us. No doubt, that will include some bookselling and van journeys along the way.
Please note – I write this while it’s still September, early days…I wonder how my adventuring dreams and little people filled reality will match up!