This Is Why We Are Here

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by Sarah Lu

My friend gave birth to identical twin baby boys this morning.  I can’t keep it to myself.  My friend has spent many years trying to have a baby with her partner.  They had a lot of false starts, and things got pretty sad.  And then these boys came, and stayed, and now they are born.  I am not a religious person, but I cannot help myself from saying that this is miraculous.  And yet so ordinary.  But miraculous.  I know, I know, it’s science right?  But in my mind, it is miracle. It is brilliant and amazing and splendorous.  It is supercalafragalisticexpialidocious.  Seriously.

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Watching my own children grow feels similar.  I recently looked at a picture of my daughter from three years ago- it took my breath away.  She was so small, yet no time has passed.  I think in these moments, I feel what it means to be here- really be here.  And I am so glad that I do what I do.  I spend my days with children.  Watching them grow, watching the miracle of their development.  Watching as the magic of the world enters their hearts.  Watching as they learn to connect, trust, and grow.  Wow.

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This weekend I also got word from many parents, myself included, who were not admitted to the schools of their choice for the PPS lottery system.  A parent at the preschool and I were commiserating that it is too bad that we can’t trust that our neighborhood school might be amazing, or even satisfactory.  In essence, we who know the research, and what’s best for children, can’t trust that our children will be taken care of in a social/emotional way in our public schools, because if they are, then their teachers will be fired for not teaching them instead how to take a test.  And we know that the three R’s can be taught, more effectively in fact, if taught in connection to a child’s experiences, in context rather.

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All those kids on the news lately, all the violence, all the senselessness of the hard things in this world, is overcome by this idea:  When we give children the clear message in their early years that it is good to be kind to others, it becomes part of the ARCHITECTURE of their brain.  If we could just make this the important thing in our public schools, the architecture would be reinforced.

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Because those kids- THESE KIDS- grow up to be 19, still a kid in my mind.  (Did you know that our pre-frontal cortex does not mature completely until we are in our late 20’s?)  They grow up to be adults.  And then they grow up to make adult decisions.  Then they themselves become parents.  So really we adults can say, that we are actually kids.  Because we are.  Just grown up kids.  And we are here to pass on messages of love, peace, and celebration to these little ones.  THIS is why we are here.

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