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17 May 2023

Celebrating our Mothers

  • From the Head of Junior School South Plympton

I trust that all of the mums and grandmothers in our community had a really special day on Sunday as they celebrated Mothers’ Day with families. At both Brooklyn Park and South Plympton the Junior School children were able to purchase a gift for their mum. The deliberation that went in to that special purchase, and the delight on each child’s face as they made their purchase can’t help but melt hearts. Mums are so special.

There is much research into the first thousand days of a child’s life, post-conception and the importance of this period in a child’s development. This is a time when a child's brain, body and immune system grows and develops significantly. A baby's brain develops more quickly during the first thousand days than at any other time of life. The way their brain adapts to its environment contributes to the sort of person they will grow into. This is one of the many reasons why the role of a mother is so important. Even in the development of language, no matter the culture, a mother will unknowingly change her voice as she speaks to her newborn. This is the very basic first step in the development of language skills for the child, and is crucial to their education.

We know that God ordained families as the unit by which children would be nurtured. Motherhood is spoken of throughout Scripture as an important calling. Motherhood is a gift from God and one of the ways we can glorify and serve Him. I love the way that God uses mothers to describe the ways He loves and cares for us. Isaiah 66:13 says "As a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you; and you will be comforted over Jerusalem." And Isaiah 49:15 says "Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you!" Don’t you love the fact that God acknowledges motherhood and the immense compassion and love that surrounds it? He then reminds us that His incredible love for us surpasses even that love of a mother.

As with any significant event that celebrates families in some way, we are aware that there are those in our community for whom these events bring or remind them of heartbreak. Whether this is the recent loss of a parent or a child, or the grief of growing up in a family that was less functional and supported. If this is you, or someone you know, be comforted by our Lord who hears our cries. "The Lord comforts His people and will have compassion on His afflicted ones" Isaiah 49:13.

The Bible teaches mothers to point children toward Christ by praying for them, modelling faith and character, and training them in wisdom (Proverbs 1:8, 29:15). I was fortunate to have a mother who spent many hours praying for us as well as modelling a godly life. I often reflect on how my teenage and young adult years may have been disastrous had I not been covered by her prayers. I was fortunate to have her living with us in her old age and became aware of the time she spent praying for her grandchildren. So, mums and grandmothers as a priority, continue to pray for your families.

As educators, we value the input of both parents, and acknowledge that if we work together as a team, then we can achieve much. I enjoy watching the parents reading with the younger students in classrooms each week, watching from the sidelines and cheering on during sporting events and supporting with homework on a regular basis.

This is captured in a poem by David Bowen.

Food for Thought

I dreamed I stood in a studio
And watched two sculptors there,
The clay they used was a young child's mind
And they fashioned it with care.

One was a teacher; the tools being used
Were books and music and art,
One a parent with a guiding hand
And a gentle, loving heart.

Day after day the teacher toiled
With touch that was deft and sure,
While the parent laboured just as hard
And polished and smoothed it o'er.

When at last their task was done
They were proud of what they had wrought,
For the things they had moulded into the child
Could neither be sold nor bought.

And both agreed they would have failed
If they had worked alone;
For behind the parent stood the school
And behind the teacher, the home.

Thank you, mums, for the way that you support all we do as a College in our endeavour to inspire the hearts and minds of your children.