Pressed for time in blog writing last night, I made an unwise choice. Yes, I enjoyed writing about the bozos in the High Street, but how could I overlook the achievements of our wonderful daughter?
Yesterday was a terrific day for her. We saw her take the lead when her class led school assembly, sharing on a trip they’d had to Braintree Museum to explore Victorian life a couple of weeks ago. All the class said something, but Rebekah had to kick it off. Clear voice, good projection, nicely paced. Could make a preacher of her yet.
Later in the assembly, the Deputy Head presented her with a certificate to mark the Maths test she passed last week. She looked so proud, in the right way. At the autumn term parents’ evening, her teacher had told us that Maths was her weakness. No longer, it seems. Not only did she pass this test, we had the spring term parents’ evening on Tuesday night, and she is attaining standards in numeracy ahead of her age now. So there has been a real turnaround. She has worked hard, and the teacher has done well with her.
Meanwhiles, Mark, according to his teacher, ‘can do everything’, and she’s having to hold him back on his reading because he’s so far ahead of the others. On its own, this would have worried us, but she discussed strategies with us for making a bit more of the books they’re expecting him to read that they know are below his capabilities. The real concern is his lack of socialising with children of his own age.
Collecting the children from school yesterday, we were greeted with a very red Mark. Not only his hair, but blotches on his skin. We kept him off his swimming lesson. This morning, he was much better and we sent him in. However, by morning break the school had phoned me and I went in armed with Piriton. That did little, and at the beginning of lunchtime came the second phone call. We brought him home, and with the school anxious that he might be infectious with something like slapped cheek, Debbie took him to the doctor, where they had to wait alone in a side room before seeing a GP who wasn’t sure what it was, but said just to keep him off school tomorrow. Poor lad, ever since going full time at school in January, he’s struggled to do a full week any week.
Meanwhile, back at yesterday afternoon, Rebekah was fit for her swimming lesson. Once a term, the swim school tests the children. Yesterday, she passed her 20 metres badge, so great elation and more reason to eat chocolate!
Today, she is happy too, because another milk tooth fell out, thanks to a cherry cake that was served for dessert at school dinners. It has been irritating her for days. Tonight, it was not difficult to persuade her to sleep, because she is anticipating a nocturnal appointment with the Tooth Fairy. And in the tradition of a children’s book we once read about the dental sprite, she is sincerely hoping this tooth was clean and sparkling enough to find a home in The Hall Of Perfect Teeth. Our next door neighbour told her there would be an extra reward for such teeth.
Fat chance. The standard £1 coin is in the envelope with the TF’s letter. We’re not getting stung again.
Meanwhile on the sabbatical front, I still haven’t ordered any more books, but having a Myers Briggs personality type that likes to keep my options open, it was fatal today to receive a catalogue for church leaders from Wesley Owen. As I flicked through, hoping not to be tempted and take it on an early trip to the paper recycling sack, I was accosted by a few titles that could have something to do with my research. Not the ministry and personality type stuff, but the dialogue between traditional understandings of ordination and our contemporary missional context.
So step forward Ministry By The Book by Derek Tidball. Prepare for Exile: A New Spirituality and Mission for the Church by Patrick Whitworth sounded interesting. And Evaluating Fresh Expressions:explorations in emerging church: Emerging Theological and Practical Models edited by Martyn Percy and Louise Nelstrop sounded like it might be useful as a critical voice from outside my tradition to ask hard questions about new forms of church. If anyone reading this has read any of these books, please let me know what you think in the comments below.
As I drew up in the drive after an afternoon of pastoral visiting, I knew what had happened. Rebekah was dancing around at the top of the drive. It could mean only one thing. That wobbly tooth had gone. At last she had lost her first baby tooth. The tooth fairy would be swooping into action tonight.
Not that she had the tooth. It had disappeared somewhere between school and the shoe shop. Somehow the wingèd dispenser of monetary compensation for missing molars would need to receive this urgent message.
Of more concern was the level of financial recompense for that first tooth. We had been led to believe that the current exchange rate was one pound per tooth. However, that was before Tanyel’s mum had run out of change.
Tanyel is one of Rebekah’s classmates. When she lost her first tooth, Mum was out of coins. She only had paper money. Thus it came to pass that Tanyel received five – yes, five – of our finest British pounds for her milk tooth. And the good news had spread all around the class. Yea verily the golden coins tumbled out of my wallet into the envelope Debbie had decorated, accompanied by some text she had found on a website.
So make what you will of this story. How natural it is for children to share good news quickly. Or how dumb and soft we were as parents. Take your pick.