The Garden House

We loved the Garden House, Isaac’s previous school very very much. It had plenty of outdoor spaces, provided bilingual immersion and play-based learning, served tasty, freshly cooked organic food and most of all, had wonderful teachers.

After Isaac’s last day, we continued to have email exchanges with his previous teachers and one particular email moved me to tears. I was thanking his teachers for the lovely notes they wrote to him in his card, and she replied “We love Isaac a lot and will always love him. We hope he settles in nicely at his new school.”

I was very very touched because Isaac is such a sensitive child and he took so long to settle in. Even after the initial settling in, he would regress every so often into tears — after vacations or long weekends or other significant events. I had thought that his teachers must have found him somewhat troublesome, but instead, they cared very much for him instead.

Now and then, I am envious when I see other children his age starting school without tears, or changing schools easily. Part of me wish we can all have an easier time with the transitions, but mostly it’s because I feel awful when Isaac has such difficulty with every change. But I came to realise that the same sensitive side of Isaac also makes him such a sweet and affectionate child.

And I am glad that in his one and a half year at the Garden House, the teachers he spent his mornings with saw, and loved him too. We would have loved for him to continue there for another year or so, if not for the fact that we need full day care for Isaac once I start work so my helper can manage with Isabel at home, and the Garden House did not offer that when we made the switch.

We will all miss the school very much!

Isaac – 2016

The last days of 2016, we also had a little farewell for Isaac from his current play school. When we were leaving and his teachers were giving him a final cuddle, this silly mummy started crying. Partly because farewells are always sad, even if they are not mine. And the Garden House has been such a lovely place for Isaac, and it’s hard to imagine that Isaac would likely never see his teachers, friends and school again.

But mostly, I was very moved by how well-loved Isaac was. He is such a sensitive boy and took a long time to settle in, and very frequently relapsed into tears after long holidays. But everyone was endlessly patient with him and on the last day, we saw what a cheerful and bright boy he has become, and how much joy he brings to everyone around him, outside of our family. In his farewell card, his teachers wrote of his bright smile and how he chats with them and it’s lovely for us to know that others also knew and loved our happy little boy.

2016 has been such a big year for Isaac too. He started the year with barely 20 words in his vocabulary and now he just gabbles and gabbles away about filaments on flowers and in light bulbs, about clouds and rain, about fan blades and motors and plugs and electricity. He has such a remarkable understanding of the physical world — he can explain and extrapolate how different evenness/hardness or surfaces can make them stable or not, whether you can see inside covered places depending on how much light they let in, and even distinguish between stamen and stigmas on flowers.

Most of all, he’s now such a lovely sweet boy who smiles and greets everyone and laughs all the time — he has brought such joy into our lives.

Every night during bedtime, he would ask to ‘sleep very close to Mama’ and we would fall asleep forehead to forehead or in some snuggle. It could be exhausting, how both Isaac and Isabel demand so much of me — but it isn’t because I love them so much and these days are too brief.

It’s been a wonderful year for and with my firstborn and may the new year be the same!

Goodbye, 16

Last year, when a door closed on me, a friend told me in the midst of my disappointment — this too, is part of God’s plan for you. Even if you cannot see it now, it will be a most beautiful plan.

Now, two years on, it turned out every bit true.

2016 has been another wonderful year. There were big things — taking on a new role at work, welcoming Isabel into our lives, being offered a scholarship. But it was also all the little moments, every single day, that made the year — the countless happy smiles Isaac has given me, all the times we laughed as a family, every time I am reminded of how lucky I am to have a capable and supportive husband, the endless love my parents have shown us, every single day at work with an amazing team and people I have grown so fond of, and all the beautiful moments of music, all the quiet contemplation and the hum of God in my heart.

It’s been a year full of grace and I am endlessly endlessly grateful.

Goodbye, 16!