I knew this week was going to be a big week, but it's been so mindbogglingly crazy that I'm feeling quite shell shocked as it comes to an end.
Many firsts this week.
Monday was not only the 1st day of February, but also the first day of the 1st term of the 2010 school year.
Monday was Erik's first day in grade 4, and Luey's first day in grade 3, which also marked Luey's first day of middle primary. He was no longer a junior school member! Luey was pretty excited about this, and that excitement was encouraged by the fact that his two besties had also been allocated to his class (much to everyone's relief, not least of Dave and myself!).
This week was the first time Erik and Luey got themselves to and from school under their own steam. They took the bus home on Wednesday alone - I did meeting them at the bus interchange, half way through their journey home, but they insisted I let them travel the rest of the way home themselves and take the alternative bus myself to meet them at home. Thursday they took the bus to school themselves and today they came home themselves again. I'm so very, very proud of them!
Wednesday was Bryn's first day of Kindergarten, and while I *sadly* had to miss out on seeing him into his first ever kinder day, he was very excited to be going and enjoyed himself immensely! He starts regular session this coming week, so hopefully his enthusiasm with continue then as well.
Monday also saw me starting my Certificate III in Children's Services course. By the end of the first day, I realised the time commitment was going to be somewhat greater than I thought with 185 hours of placement time needing to be completed by the middle of June as well as the three days a week contact hours. I decided to just grit my teeth and get on with it, and immediately set about contacting a local daycare provider to arrange placement. That all went very smoothly and despite lumping Dave with 5 days a week care of the children for equal to half of the next 5 months, I figured we could make this happen so that I can start paid out of the home work in July or August, around about the time we planned to move. For the move we'd need either Dave or myself to be able to show a taxable income when applying for a new rental property.
Monday night, Dave dropped a rather large bombshell.
We'd been served a Notice to Vacate by our real estate owners for the 1st of June this year! This was to coincide with the end of our tenancy agreement. This news was quite upsetting if I'm perfectly honest. Not only was it a couple of months ahead of my perfectly planned schedule for this month, but we'd be required to find a new rental property at a time when we'd have no savings, and more importantly, NO JOBS.
Dave has been unemployed since his redundancy last April. I have been in regular paid employment in a decade and a half. While I was studying this Cert. III, I was going to rely on Dave to be with Bryn and Ari during the day. I can't get a job at the moment without deferring my studies, and if Dave gets a job, then I lose my childcarer for the boys and will have to defer or quit the course.
As far as Dave getting work goes. Well, he's remaining positive about it, but I have to admit that the combination of his age (50) and the current economic downturn, and his current long term unemployed status has me concerned that he will find it difficult to find work.
The current economic downturn is also affecting the availability of rental properties and there have been a number of shows highlighting the difficulty of finding a property if you just happen to have more than two children. As well as this, ANY property we find in our area (and we do have to stay in this area, not only because we want to disrupt the boys lives as little as possible but also because of my vision impairment requiring me to have access to good public transport and ammenities) will cost us between $100-$150 more per week than our current property.
But even if Dave did get a job, and we did have an application for a property approved, because the landlords have chosen to uphold the lease agreement, we're legally bound to paying rent on this property until the end of this lease. Normally, we could break the lease and just hope they found new renters quickly (which would be likely with the demand for rental properties) but as this property is going to be renovated and therefore taken off the rental market (at least in the medium term after we leave), there is no hope of breaking the lease and not having to pay rent until June 1st. So, leaving here before June 1st would mean paying two lots of rent instead of one. We are barely going to be able to afford one lot of rent.
So, we can't even begin to look for properties until the middle of April - which is ok for Dave trying to secure work before then - which will give us 5-6 weeks to find a place, secure it, and move in before this lease is up. The term, "pushing hot shit uphill with a fork" springs to mind about now...
In other news...
Today Dave had a first as well. It was his first driving lesson of this year, after a nearly two month break, and the first lesson in an automatic car, as opposed the manual car he'd been learning in last year. He'd decided to switch to automatic because, while he had learned the mechanics of driving the manual, he didn't feel he was *quite* reaching the fluency he needed to sit and pass the driver's test. We both felt that enough time has elapsed that it was starting to take too long for this lisence thing to happen and so perhaps simplifying the driving process by eliminating the clutch and manual gear shifts might speed the process up a bit. Anyway, so he took his first lesson today, and I'm sad to say he came away from it feeling pretty discouraged. The new car was quite different to manage (much more sensitive) and it had been two months since he sat behind the wheel and I think he felt like a fish out of water.
If only we had our own car, our own automatic, so he could have continued to have instruction from his previous instructor who he'd built up a report with, and so he could practice during the week between his lessons.
Ah, so, it's been a HUGE week, and in some ways a very challenging week.
Moreover, it's a week when the fact that life is ever changing has been thrown into stark contrast!
In the photo above, the boys are standing again our garden fence. I have so many photos of them against that garden fence, but soon there will be no more such photos. This time next year they'll be standing in front of a different background, and Bryn will also be wearing a uniform. Dave will most likely be working, or I will be working, or BOTH of us will be working, and Dave will have his lisence. Our lives will be unrecognisable from what they are now.
I really hope that this time next year, I'll look back on 2010 and see how we were presented with wonderful opportunities to effect great changes in our lives and how those changes enriched our lives in many wonderful predictable and unpredictable ways.
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