Start to school short-lived

THE big rush is over and the kids are back at school - hallelujah!

My three all seemed to have settled in, they like their teachers and have a few friends in each class.

But due to us having to travel to New Zealand this week, they've ended up with only five days at school and they will be away for three weeks.

I told the teachers last week and asked about taking homework with us. I'm sure the kids are going to hate me for it, but missing three weeks at the start of the term is going to have an impact on their schooling.

The trip to the Land of the Long White Cloud is going to be a bittersweet one - the main reason we are going is because we have family over there who are very unwell. Ultimately it could be the last time we see them.

I wish we were going to visit under much happier circumstances, but it's not the case.

We haven't been back for almost six years now and it will be interesting to see if much has changed.

We'll be returning to the city where my partner and I grew up.

Now that the girls are all a bit older, it'll be a great opportunity to drive around and point out primary and high schools, old houses and workplaces and even the university I went to.

I suppose that in itself will be a learning experience for my children - learning our history, even if it was not that long ago.

My eldest daughter was born in the town we're visiting, so she'll probably get a thrill out of seeing the hospital where she entered the world.

One of the things I'm looking forward to is taking them to an esplanade which has a kids' train ride.

I have fond memories of riding the train as a child and even being in the car, driving over the big judder bars (speed bumps) on the entry road to the esplanade.

Another park I used to frequent as a child had a giant duck pond and a roller-skating rink.

To be honest, I don't even know if the roller skating rink is still there.

Before we go I'll have to make a list of must-see places and be sure to take plenty of photos.

And of course, there will be all the family and friends to catch up with and introduce our youngest to.

I feel a bit bad that she'll be turning five this year and hasn't met many of them, but that will be rectified and hopefully, she will be old enough to remember them.



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