The Edge Of Town And Country

The Edge Of Town And Country

SunriseIn the last few months we were able to find a house that is away from the central part of town, almost at the edge, it is warmer and feels more welcoming. We have a school next to us on one side and on the other are hills which have sheep and what looks like a stream at the bottom. It’s quieter than when we were in town but because it’s on a state highway we have heavy trucks that often drive past.  On a clear day part of our view is of one of the mountains that grace the beaut

 

iful country that is New Zealand.

In the short time we have been living here I have come to love what is almost a rural life and wouldn’t want to live closer to town again. My boys love going over to the school next door when they’re home from school/kindy as it gives them a larger area to ride their bikes and run around.

Jason still goes to the same school he did before we moved even though we have moved next to a school. Jason is doing so well at school that I didn’t find it necessary to change schools just out of convenience. The school he is at he will stay at until he reaches High School age, if I had moved him to the school next door then he would have had another change when he reached intermediate age

 

but keeping him at his current school means that he’d only have 1 change in his schooling. Jason’s school is out in the country on the other side of town so he gets experiences that a child from a town school may not experience. He has a few friends that have farms and wished we lived on a farm –he doesn’t realize how busy a farm can be.

One of the things I like about this place is we get

 

a taste of rural life but are only a short drive from town. If we were completely rural I’m not sure I would enjoy it as much as there are times when I like to go into town so I don’t feel like I’m isolated. This place allows me to have a place to escape sometimes when things feel like they are getting on top of me and I need a breather.

Being on the edge of town does feel less claustrophobic and at the same time I don’t have the feeling of being cut-off from people.

As much as I like having alone time I also like the chance to be in small social settings as it helps with the anxiety and as much as I love the company of my husband and kids there are times when I want to interact with

 

different faces, the one exception is that I’m not comfortable being away from my baby girl for too long.

I do have respect for those that can live a fully rural life without feeling isolated and/or can handle the limited social interaction that I imagine goes hand in hand with living out in the wop-wops – there may be more of a social life than I realize.

Living in a bustling city is also something I would find difficult so I’m glad to have found a happy medium where I get a taste of both rural and town life.

Morning mist

 

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“He’s a Mummy’s Boy” – not a bad thing

“He’s a Mummy’s Boy” – not a bad thing

Jason and Mummy

Jason has been called a “Mummy’s boy” by various people and because of the stigma attached to it its come across as a negative thing – but you know what – he comes across that way because he has a big heart so is sensitive when it comes to feelings. He’s not the type of boy who is adventurous. He’s very caring towards those younger than him especially his little cousin, his sister and even his friends sisters.

Here in New Zealand it seems that boys are only meant to be the rough and tumble adventurous type, he does like rough play but only to a certain degree. He also is a great reader and sometimes prefers to just sit and read. He likes to play sport but isn’t a fan of heights or is very cautious about trying new things.

Some people think that he’s “soft” because when he was little out of necessity we co-slept. Honestly though it was what he needed at the time. Jason isn’t 6 for a few more months but he can ride a two-wheeler by himself, he has had sleepovers at a friends place and was quite happy about it and didn’t want to come home.

I think what makes it harder on him is that his little brother is very adventurous and throws caution out the window; Alex never needed to co-sleep and just goes with the flow when it comes to change, he’s willing to try anything. However he doesn’t have the empathy that Jason has – and that’s okay as well. I’ve never had to worry too much about Alex but he does do my head in a bit as he is very determined and teaching him to apologise has been a huge task.

Jason loves cuddles and if I had to say what his love language was I would say its probably physical touch and quality time. Jason seems to prefer small but close friendship circles, he’s a friendly boy but when he was at kindy he pretty much just played with the same few boys whereas Alex’s friendships are more vast.

Some might say that Alex isn’t as emphatic as Jason because he’s younger but I disagree. The brothers just have different personalities and thats a good thing. If this world was made up of people that were exactly the same it would be pretty boring.

Just because someone may not fit the label we give them doesn’t give us a right to make assumptions. Yes Jason may be a “mummy’s boy” because of his empathy, his sensitivity and his closeness to me – he’s also a lot like his dad in his sense of humor and love of sports. Its fine if boys are sensitive it’ll mean they’ll grow up to be great Dads.

Jason and Rylee

Just A Team

Just A Team

A persons identity often lies in the country of their birth – not always, but for me I am proud to be born in New Zealand. I love my country – I love the scenery, for the most part I like the kiwi DIY attitude, there are some things that the government does that I disagree with, I am a huge All Blacks fan but the one thing I don’t like is how Rugby is almost a religion here.

I like to watch the All Blacks play, am happy when they win and am mad when a Referee has made a decision that seems to be unfair. In the 2007  Rugby World cup when the All Blacks played France, the Ref – Wayne Barnes yellow-carded Luke McAlister and I felt along with many other All Blacks fans that it was an unfair call, many years later there are some fans that refer to this particular Ref as “bloody Wayne Barnes” and blame him for the All Blacks losing.

The All Blacks seem to be so idolised by a lot of New Zealanders that when the movie ‘Invictus’ was released there were some that were upset by the fact that the supposed food poisoning of the All Blacks just before the 1995 Rugby World Cup final against the Springboks seems to have taken away the more important message of how a rugby team played an important role in affecting  a positive change of Racial Equality for an entire nation.

After all what are the All Blacks but a rugby team – a pretty talented one at that – but still just a team. The men are merely players and as a team will have their wins and losses. As much as I like the All Blacks they are not infallible. When the All Blacks constantly win by large margins I start to find the matches boring. In 2016 when the All Blacks played Ireland and lost, I was a bit disappointed but funnily enough the other thought I had was “at least it wasn’t the Wallabies” this also goes to show how ingrained the rivalry between Australia and New Zealand is in the people.

I’ve noticed that after a loss the All Blacks seem to come back with a passion, in my opinion they are more dangerous after a loss and also the games are more interesting because there is no longer the certainty of winning.

I guess its the same with life; if nothing ever goes wrong, if we are not tested in any way then how can we appreciate what we have when things are good. How can we know the strength of our character if its never tested, how can we know how far we can be pushed if it has never happened

Country School

Country School

I live in a town of approx. 45,000 and we have a range of primary schools to choose from, we also have primary schools that go up to Intermediate.  My eldest boy currently attends a country school of about 200-300 students (I think) – his classroom has no more than 20 students. Because of the smaller size of his classroom he is able to build closer friendships with his classmates and the children are encouraged to help one another

We entered him in this particular school as it was the one his Dad attended, and now when he is in his 2nd term at school I am really glad we did for other reasons. For one thing it has its own swimming pool so can go swimming whenever the teachers allow it – this means I make sure he has togs and towel in his bag every day. The fact that he has this opportunity means that his experience with water is not limited.

Being in a country school means that he gets to experience a bit of rural life, and as a kiwi kid especially one who lives in town I think that is important. In a previous post I mentioned Pet Day which allowed students that not only had dogs but also had calves, lambs, goats and other farm animals to enter into the show.

This particular school has such a friendly atmosphere; I think that because of the smaller size of the school, students from the senior syndicate are known to the middle and junior syndicates and vice versa. My boy’s school also has a buddy system – where a senior student is paired up with a junior and there are opportunities for these “buddies” to participate together like “buddy writing”.

Some may think that in a country school that education itself could be of a lower standard than that of a city school, however I have found it not to be the case. My boy is at the top reading level in his class along with two other students – one who started the term before him (about 3 months before).

I think that whether a country or city school, a child should be encouraged in their learning and helped in the areas they find difficult. Even those “difficult” students may have a reason they misbehave and it is up to educators working alongside parents/caregivers to find something that helps the child.