Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Learned at school 

Everything you need to know about life, you learned in the playground. Of course you don't figure that out for another 30 or 40 years. Maybe as parents we can learn from kid related dilemmas. Let me give you an example.

Son no. 1 goes to the local school. It's a lovely school, but is not really big enough to support extensive facilities, and seems to be teetering perpetually on the margins of viability. The trouble is that many of the friends he has made in the past few years, with parents that we have become friends with, are now leaving to go to other, bigger, richer schools with better prospects. We've got options, and in the background is always the possibility of moving. It makes it harder to commit and to make the most of where we are now.

This blog is a Alex cartoon, and in frame four, we find out that I'm talking about moving country not school. The same things apply: looking across the mountain to see if the grass is greener, are the prospects better, is it a better place to be? There is a nervousness about being the last one left: leaving it too late and being unable to move. Then the human factor - the stickiness of relationships; all the things that made it hard to leave the UK on the first place.

In the meantime, they have just painted the road each side of the school gates. In pragmatic egalitarian fashion it mixes Afrikaans and English, so it says both 'ahead' and 'voor' on each side. It splits the two words for school, so one side reads "skool ahead voor". Three English parents have been run over this month already taking photos that crop out the 'voor'.

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