Tag Archives: love

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A Solution

So Spring is in the air and children in my centre are in love. Asha chases Jim and Jim taunts Asha with his charm. Asha declares “I’m going to get you Jim and then I am going to kiss you.”

Words that have me pondering how to proceed. Do I allow the game to continue? Do I allow Asha to kiss Jim? What will the families think? What about germs? Should I stop it?  which leads to questions of  Am I the only one uncomfortable with this? Am I really uncomfortable? Hmph….

See over my career I have been instructed to say different things in similar situations. “Hugs only at preschool” , “Kisses are just for moms and dads.”  and many other scripted statements. Which by the way all make me gag. The idea of me saying any of those things now seems ridiculous.

Here is the other memory that goes through my head. Craig Knolton the preschool heart throb shouting at me from across my lawn “Danielle if you catch me you can kiss me.” Swoon oh Craig Knolton if you only knew I compared most of my suiters to you for years. A true testament to how powerful the preschool years are. (hahaha)

All this by the way is going through my head in the span of ten seconds while I am deciding if it is necessary for me to interject in Asha and Jims kissing game. I finally decide yes and for very selfish reasons. Our class has been plagued with stomach bugs, colds and runny noses and I want it to stop.

“Asha and Jim lets not play the kissing game today. We have all been sick and kissing can spread germs. I don’t want to get sick anymore do you?” Saying this sort of made me gag too… I am sure at two in the morning I will think of a more respectful way to say stop kissing Jim.

Asha stops chasing Jim and goes to the a table and starts drawing. You may think the story ends there but it doesn’t. Asha draws the most awesome picture. I know from looking at it, its a monster.

001“What is it?” I ask.

Asha looks up at me with a satisfied grin, puts it up to her face and shouts “IT’S THE KISSY MONSTER!”

Asha then proceeds to chase us all around screaming “The kissy monster is going to get you.”

There was a lot of laughter and fun had by all including me.

I love how Asha took the problem (me being a spoil sport and stopping the kissing) and came up with a solution. Germs were the problem well a mask of paper is the solution.

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Memories and Experience

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

Maya Angelou

 

I have a little guy in my program this summer who some might call challenging. Some might call him mean. Some might call him naughty (god help me if they call him that in front of me!) I call him Rory and I am quite fond of him.

I spend a lot of time with Rory. I spend a lot of time helping the other children voice their feelings and concerns to Rory. If I tell him not to hit , it is sure to happen in another five minutes. Yet if the children ask him to stop hitting, he stops. It’s a summer program though, so each week Rory has a new set of children who must learn to navigate life with him.

He has come a long way. On those occasions though when things feel like they are going three steps backwards, I find myself questioning my approach.  Last Friday was one of those days, we had such a great day but the last half hour of the program felt like a gong show and Rory hurt someone.

I spent a lot of time reflecting and wondering what I could do.

Then Sunday came along and I found myself sitting on a church pew saying goodbye to a man I loved. My uncle had lost his battle with cancer. I sat and listened to stories shared by friends and family of what a warm, caring and genuine man he was with tears in my eyes.  

Driving home a few days later, after time spent with family, I found myself reflecting on my memories of my Uncle Don.  I found myself thinking about the times we spent together, what I loved about him and what he taught me. The thing about my uncle Don was this, every time I saw him he made me feel like I was the exact person he wanted to see at that exact moment. He would greet me with a smile and a long wonderful hug. When I spoke I knew he was listening, I could see it in his smile, his eyes and his body language.  I will miss this about him.

Wednesday morning I found myself setting up my classroom getting ready for the children. My thoughts back on Rory and how I can best support him.  I didn’t know what to do.  Then he walked in and at that exact moment I knew, I must make him feel like he was the exact person I wanted to see at that exact moment. I got down to his level, smiled, told him how happy I was to see him and gave him a hug. Throughout the day I gave him hugs and when he had something to share I made sure to really listen with every part of my body.

Today at the end of the day two things happened. One, my manager came and said how impressed she was with how Rory did on our field trip today. Two, Rory came and gave me a hug and told me he loved me.

There are many strategies we can learn from text books and classes but sometimes memories and experience can  teach us something too. Tonight I am thankful for my large family and the many lessons they have taught me. You make me a better educator.

 

My Aunt and Uncle with my daughter last summer.

 

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Love, Wolves and Heartache

 

 I have been witness to great love. Love that caused proclamations to be made, tears to be shed and heartache to ensue. I have been overwhelmed when I stood in the presence of this love, it brought me to tears, it caused me pause and it had me rethink my beliefs on love and children’s capacity to feel it. 

A while ago my nephew Ben crawled into a hammock and my daughter followed him. As I rocked them in the hammock Helaina put her head on Ben’s shoulder. Ben being four gave a Helaina a little sideways glance and then asked me “why does she do that?”

“I think because she loves you Ben. She knows how kind you are and I think she remembers how you took care of her so well when she was a baby.”  I could see Ben’s face soften. “Remember when you used to call her Baby Thumbelina. You used to tickle her and make her laugh. I think she remembers all the kind things you do for her.”

He gave me a very serious look at this point.

“If the wolves try to hurt her I will kill them. If they come to get her I will jump in between and stop them. I will not let them hurt her.”

I cannot begin to tell you how serious he was, how passionate he was that he was going to protect her. What I can tell you was I was speechless. It took me a minute to come up with something to say and honestly what I said was pathetic.

“She must be important to you.”

“yes” he said. “I love her.”

He loved her and that was clear. I did not need him to tell me so. This moment has stayed with me for months. I wondered how to tell the story of that moment. I feared I could not do it justice.

Then last week Helaina experienced heartache. You cannot experience heartache without love. I know this now, thanks to her.

It was a simple moment. Her grandmother and Aunt left our home to go out without her. The moment the door closed she began to cry and came running to me. I got down to her level to give her hug. When I looked into her eyes, I saw her heartache and I felt it too. I am not going to lie, I cried too.

In our society we talk a lot about how children need love but what we don’t give much thought and time to is their capacity to feel love. I have witnessed this love in my classroom, in my family and in my home. I know now with certainty that children feel and are capable of great love. It is my belief too that we could learn a thing or two about love from children.

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A Love Letter to my Family

“Other things may change us, but we start and end with family.” 

Anthony Brandt

Some may have noticed I took a bit of a break from the Blog and Facebook this past week. I didn’t intend too, I work , through every life event. As Kim jokes shortly after giving birth to Helaina I started designing this website. In the past year I have balanced work with newborns, renovations and travel.  So last week when life threw my family a massive curve ball I figured something new to learn to balance. I quickly realized this event would not allow for balance, it would consume our lives and it was our job to survive.

As hard as this past week was, I couldn’t help but marvel at the beauty of my family. I had moments of overwhelming pride as I watched them deal with what life was  throwing at us. I found myself reflecting on our life, the things my family has taught me  and how I am the person,  educator,  advocate and parent I am because of them.

I am connected to nature because of my dad. My skills in the kitchen and my ability to stay calm under pressure is because of my mother. My ability to nurture and mother is thanks to my little sisters. My brother in laws and husband have taught me how adventurous boys are and because of them I have a new found respect for adventure  in the classroom. My nieces, nephews and daughter have taught me about unconditional love and remind me every day just how capable children are.  As a family we laugh together and we find joy in each others smiles.

This week we held hands, we cried together, we laughed together, we listened to things we just couldn’t understand and then we tried to understand them.  Through all the chaos of the past week we supported each other but most importantly we loved each other.

“Families are about love overcoming emotional torture.”

Matt Groening