(from Mr Martin, Houseparent of Bradford)
As I sit in the Bradford Houseparents study, it feels like a lonely place. It has been nearly 2 weeks since the ‘big boys’ (the name my own children call the boarders of Bradford House) have not been in the house. Sometimes, I like quietness. It gives me a chance to be still, to pray and to gather my thoughts. Sometimes, I like the busyness that a boarding house can bring. The constant questions, the boys charging up and down the stairs, the terrible banter that teenage boys bring, the laughter and the frustrations. As I have said a few times, it is a job I love and would do for free. As I look out the door to the physical emptiness of the big boys not being in the house, it is a good reminder how much I miss the busyness of ‘normal’ school and house life.
There is an added reason I miss the busyness of school life. Around some of the teaching I have been doing through VKHS, Mrs Martin (my wife, not my mother) and I have been attempting to homeschool our 3 young children. Arthur, who is 7 in 2 weeks, Olive who is 5, going on 15 and Monty, aged 3. I must say and say loudly, I love my children dearly. I also must say that my appreciation for Primary school teachers has grown enormously these last 10 days and I feel they should be rewarded much more! In truth, my wife has been doing most of the teaching and Daddy has drifted in and out. My suggestions are based around being outside playing sport or watching something educational (some kind of sport re-run) on TV. We are massively dragging out tasks to do with the children. The Maths and English lessons seem to be over in a flash, but (to name a few) baking a cake, making bread, tidying up, laying the table, reading books and face timing the Grandparents, we have all elongated as much as possible. I like to think we are helping them more with the school of life!
I appreciate that this is an extremely difficult time and I feel very blessed we are able to be on lockdown in a beautiful place, with the use of the grounds here on the Hill. It does make me appreciate school and normality even more though and I do miss the busyness of the house and school.
I must go; the next ‘lesson’ with the children is about to start. This lesson is entitled, ‘Dance lessons with Daddy’