Back to routine

The kids are back in school and we’ve all adjusted pretty well. Ethan adores his new teacher, and she has been very sweet and patient with his distractibility. So far so good for grade 1! Now that doesn’t mean homework is any easier—how can a child take over an hour to write out 8 spelling words????

Anya is in grade 4, and it’s been a harder adjustment. I’m not sure why—her teacher is great and she’s with most of her friends again. Her first day of class she came home dancing because the teacher doesn’t assign homework, they just have to finish what they didn’t finish in class. Despite her joy, I had a sense of impending doom. And I was right…she has homework every day, because she never finishes anything during class! When I tried to talk to her about it, she said with pure disgust, “I know mom—it’s teaching me ‘responsibility!’” (insert teeny-bopper attitude here). She has projects to work on over weeks, and she waits until the night before. She has tests to study for, and she can’t stand the thought of doing something as vague as ‘studying’. And I’m a bit lost, wondering how much to be involved beyond gentle reminders, and how much to let her struggle in order to teach her that dreaded ‘responsibility!’

Chad has 3 more weeks before classes start for him, so he’s busy getting lectures prepared between power-outages. I’m back at the clinic my usual 3 mornings a week. There’s no way to answer how “that’s going.” Some days it goes great. Other days I want to run away and never look back, because I just don’t want to know what some people live with as their reality.

Today we admitted a baby with pneumonia…6 weeks old and 3.3 pounds. It’s beyond unsettling to see a baby look so perfectly formed (fingernails, eye lashes, etc) and so unnaturally small. Literally just skin and bones, with big serious eyes that seem to stare into my soul and ask why some have to fight so hard just to survive. She’s had more pain and suffering in her 6 weeks than many will have in a lifetime. I want to scoop her up and take her home, and yet there are thousands more like her here in Malawi, and hundreds of other countries with their own thousands of suffering children. I truly can not think about it too long, or I get overwhelmed with depression and angst! So we prayed for her, and we all gave her lots of snuggles and hugs, and we go back to work, because later today or tomorrow there will be another one, and it won’t do anyone any good if we’re curled up in the fetal position crying, will it?

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