The Dafter has been at her new school for a week and a half now. It’s been a huge change for her, in many ways. The school itself has four times the number of pupils as in her primary school, her day is several hours longer, she now has a dozen subjects, and is grappling with things like multiplying negative numbers in English when until now she had learned maths mostly in Gaelic. Outside of the classroom there is shoving, swearing, smoking and no doubt other unpleasant things beginning with S!
Every day she has come home exhausted from the effort of contending with all this. Some days she has been exhausted and downhearted as well – because some older kid made fun of her bag or her socks, or because she didn’t do as well as she wanted in a quiz (negative numbers again). The mornings have been intense, as we now must rise an hour earlier, and have many more things to remember to pack in the bag. The mile-long walk to the bus is a pleasant one, but with the pressure of making sure we get to the bus before it leaves. But every day, even when she’s been very sorry to have to go, she’s texted us from the bus, and the message has been a variation on this: “I’ve decided to be positive.”
We have told her how proud we are of her unflinching strength in coming to terms with her new school. We’ve remembered how tough it was for us to make that adjustment (and others, later on in our lives).
I told her also that I’ve admired how graceful she’s been. She has shown grace under pressure. And I believe she’s also accepted God’s grace and allowed herself to express that. At challenging times in my life, I have always felt supported by something beyond. I think that something is partly the thing called grace. I can’t expect her to have this same experience (although I would love her to), but I can honestly tell her how it seems to me.