Monday, January 16, 2006

coming back to earth

...but somewhat reluctantly!

I've been surprised by how hard it has been to get back into the swing of 'normal' life again after Summer Gathering. You'd think (well I would) that seeing people again so quickly as they head back north, plus emails coming in already and knowing I'll see others again soon, not to mention the number of actual Wellington folk who were there and I've seen since getting back, that making the transition back would be fairly painless. But it appears not.

I know in many ways it has to do with the children I spent so much time with - I must've looked fairly panic stricken when I first got asked to help bail out the 4-11 yr olds group, being far more used to the 11+ range but I absolutely loved it. Since leaving it has been as tho' there is an enormous hole where they were. Dylan (11yrs) told me to enjoy the peace and quiet whilst it lasted but I'm not really enjoying it at all - I'm missing them heaps. Having Kirsten & Liam's small hands coming and slipping into mine as I walked along the paths, the hugs somewhere around mid thigh height, being able to stand with my arm comfortably resting along Dylan's shoulders (that won't last - he'll no doubt be too tall soon...), being able to pick someone up to hug them goodbye or goodnight, playing tig & football, mucking about in the pool, telling silly jokes (why can I never remember the good ones?) and bedtime stories (Winnie the Pooh - what else!), deep and meaningful discussions about Thomas the Tank Engine with children of all ages (altho' I think we were mainly YFs...), Xavier (4yrs) starting nearly every sentence with "D'you know what...", Hugo's big grin, Zeb's smile, Keava's words of wisdom, Liam's puppy dog eyes...

Broody? Clucky? Me? Well only for children, not babies, and only for quite specific children at that. I think it is the knowing that by the time I see most of them again they'll have all changed so much. Once they reach YF age and beyond it is different, change slows down, the connections made one year can be built upon the next whereas with children, especially those reaching their teens, they move on so quickly and the boys who were happy to sit on your knee or curl up on the sofa by you and want a hug get to the 'girls? Eeuuuurrrgggghhhh' stage and don't want to know any more.

I am extremely grateful to them for including me so much in their week, for giving me so many really special memories, and hopefully we can pick up where we left off next time we meet...

... tag - you're it!

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