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The difference one year makes...

It's that time of year when the house is under siege from the influx of forms from school. There's City Experience for Luey, Camp for Ari (his first, Lord help the teachers), and swimming of course.

And then there are the forms for next year from the high school. Registering for VET for Luey, and enrolling into high school for Bryn (my baby!!!). Bryn is absolutely chaffing at the bit to get into high school. He has enjoyed this year at school, enjoyed his friends, but now he's ready to move onto the next stage. One of his friends is going to the same high school which will be great for both of them.

I was thinking about all of this the other day and thinking about how much things have changed in the past year. Ari has been on ADHD medication for a year now, and there have been absolutely no messages from his teachers about his behaviour. He is concentrating so well in class now that he's actually been taken off homework because it would be far to boring and useless to him. I'm hoping he'll be okay next year when he's the only Bird boy left in primary school. He is the only one of ours to be in primary school on his own, and he'll be doing it for the next three years. He doesn't hang out with Bryn and his friends a fair bit - on the periphery - so, I do worry that he'll be lost without them. Maybe he'll establish some stronger bonds with kids his age in the more intensive environment of the 3/4 camp.

Every year we've struggled to make ends meet in the last quarter of the year. Last year, we had to curtail Luey's enthusiasm for the City Experience a bit because while the groups who spend three days going into the city together doing activities, we just couldn't afford for him to do expensive stuff like the Aquarium.

This year there will be no worries, he can enjoy the days with his friends without the underlying knowledge that it is stretching up to our max.

Also, after years and years of not sending the boys to school swimming because we couldn't justify the cost - taking into account that the boys never learned any swimming skills in the years they participated. This year we can send them 'just because'.

A year ago, I was looking at a couple more years doing with the PhD. I was frustrated that I still hadn't had any work. Struggling with anxiety to the point of repeated illness. Struggling with my ever diminishing vision. It was bad.

The thing is, when things are terrible, it is hard to see that they won't stay that way. Money has been extremely tight at our house for over a decade with neither of us working more than casually for short periods of time. Money has been a source of tension for what seems like forever. I couldn't see a time when it would be different. But here we are a year later and things are different, very, very different.

And it is good!


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