Friday, September 24, 2021

Subversive Fairy Tales



We tend to think of fairy tales as children's stories, in large part due to the Disney-fication of such older tales as Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella. As most of us already know, however, these stories were adapted from the "traditional" folk tales collected by the Brothers Grimm who Grimm-ified them for contemporary audiences during the early to mid-19th century. 

I'd long assumed that these fairy tales had been woven together from stories with origins in Europe's ancient past, but in reality the entire genre was only a little more than a century or so old, when the Grimms began their work. Indeed, the woman who coined the term "fairy tales" (conte de fée), and who penned the first ones was Marie-Catherine d’Aulnoy, a French woman who had been forced to marry an abusive older man at the age of 15.

Her stories kicked off a craze for fairy tales, inspiring the famous Mother Goose tales. But more importantly, they were an act of rebellion against the harsh patriarchy of the times, an act of subversion that just barely slipped past the censors of the day. Contrary to our ideas of fairy tales as sweet little morality plays, d’Aulnoy risked imprisonment, or worse, with her stories of empowered women who determined their own fate.

I've recently begun to read her collected works and they are certainly more entertaining, and frankly, less grim (pun intended) than the so-called traditional European fairy tales with which I was already familiar. Her heroines certainly face trials and tribulations, but there is never a moment when you truly fear for them: they are simply too strong and resourceful to be subjugated by the forces of evil aligned against them.

These are stories intended for adults, and in particular, young women who apparently understood what d'Aulnoy was doing, even if the censors did not.

Am I recommending these stories for today's children? I don't know yet, but they are certainly more appropriate than the often gruesome Grimm tales. They are at least as uplifting as the Disney versions, with the added bonus of not being tied to the company's relentless product marketing. Perhaps, in the end, it's best to leave fairy tales in the past except in the interest of historical research. After all, there are so many incredible and diverse contemporary works for children that one hardly needs to dip into stories from the 1600's. Still, it's instructive to me to read d'Aulnoy's fairy tales if only to reflect on the courage of this woman who was, in her quiet way, fighting for the freedom and equality of all women.

******

If you liked reading this post, you might also enjoy one of my books. To find out more, Click here! 
"Ready for a book that makes you want to underline and highlight? One that makes you draw arrows and write 'THIS!!!!!' in the margin? Then you are in for a treat." ~Lisa Murphy, M.Ed., author and Early Childhood Specialist, Ooey Gooey, Inc.

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Thursday, September 23, 2021

Just The Right Amount


His mother told me that he had been a "busy" baby, a trait that still defined him as a two-year-old. She warned me about his "battery" that never seemed to require recharging. If I needed him to calm down, she said, he would pause for a storybook or two, but that's all she had for me by way of advice for "dealing with him."

None of this was a problem for us. We're a play-based preschool, so "dealing with him" involved setting him free to pursue his own education and be as busy as he wanted.

As I got to know him, I clearly saw what his mother had been talking about. He had a kind of joyful relentlessness about life that I found inspiring. Everything interested him. Most things even thrilled him. It made me want to be more like him. Of course, this is true of most children with whom I've worked, but in this boy it was all turned up to 10. I could see how his propensities might make him "a handful" for future teachers who would attempt to divert him from his interests toward those of curricula or schedules. He would not be one for sitting attentively at a desk or marching in a straight line.

But those were concerns for those future teachers. Right now he was two and being "busy" is exactly what he needed to be doing. 

One day I sat with his mother, watching her son digging holes in the sandpit. She began to talk about herself. She was an executive with one of the large technology companies in Seattle, a job that ate up her waking hours. She complained of being tired all the time, of feeling that she could never get around in front of things, and of the anxiety it often caused her. She was grateful for our cooperative school in that it "forced" her to set aside at least one morning a week, phone silenced, to slow down and be with her child, although she admitted that a part of her brain simply could not stop fretting over work. 

"I guess he's like me," she sighed about her son.

I asked, "Oh no, does he tend to be anxious?"

She thought about it for a second. "No actually. He's our gung-ho guy."

"Well, that's good."

She nodded. "I guess our similarities are only superficial. We share energy and passion, but he never gets overwhelmed by it. He's busy like me, but my busy-ness devours my life. He never seems to feel like there's too much. It's always just the right amount."

I knew what she meant.

"He's never too busy and he's never bored. I feel like I spend most of my time living in the future. He lives in the present. I think that's the big difference. He just does what's in front of him."

It's part of the wisdom of childhood that we have to unlearn in order to become adults in our modern world. We spend the rest of our lives trying to re-learn it. I'm reminded of the story of Eve and Adam and the Garden of Eden, a lost utopia to which we yearn to return. I'm reminded of the quest of Buddhists for a quiet mind. I'm reminded of all the present moments that I've missed by being too busy.

As we talked, the boy dropped his shovel. He began gathering stones to drop into the holes he'd dug.

He was busy, but not too busy. He had a lot to do, but not too much. It was just the right amount.

******

If you liked reading this post, you might also enjoy one of my books. To find out more, Click here! 
"Ready for a book that makes you want to underline and highlight? One that makes you draw arrows and write 'THIS!!!!!' in the margin? Then you are in for a treat." ~Lisa Murphy, M.Ed., author and Early Childhood Specialist, Ooey Gooey, Inc.

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Wednesday, September 22, 2021

I'm "That Kind Of Person"


One of the things I enjoy about the Pacific Northwest is its fashion casualness. I think of myself as a t-shirt and jeans "kind of person" and there are few places where my clothing of choice doesn't pass muster. In my travels to other places, however, I've occasionally come across establishments that forbid people dressed like me: "Dress code strictly enforced."

A part of me is offended. Well, if they're going to be like that, then I'll gladly take my business elsewhere. It feels like a kind of discrimination, something this white, middle-class male doesn't experience all that often. I could, of course, simply put on a tie or a collared shirt or whatever and they would admit me. My clothing is not me.

Or is it?

I sometimes wear a ball cap to school. And sometimes a child, in the spirit of fun, will snatch it off my head. Anyone who has had this happen to them, knows the feeling of violation. "Hey!" is my automatic response. "I don't like that." And then I add, because I believe it to be true, "No one ever likes to have their hat snatched off their head." I've put that hat on my head for a reason. It's the classic bullying move, especially when it turns into the humiliation of "keep away." In other words, I assert, we're all the "kind of person" who doesn't like their hat being messed with.


Indeed, this probably goes for every article of clothing we wear. Except in very special circumstances (like being on fire) to snatch at someone's clothing is a violation of their bodily autonomy. By virtue of having elected to wear this or that, we have declared it to be a part of ourselves. And by the same token, when some stuffy restaurant insists that I wear this or that, they are at some level also challenging my sense of self.

Our clothing is important even if we declare that we're the "kind of person" who doesn't care about fashion, and not just because it protects us from the elements.

We dress to impress. We dress for success. We dress to provoke. We dress to attract. We dress to express ourselves. We dress to deceive. We dress to influence. We dress to tell the world that we're "that kind of person." When we're caught in our underwear, we feel embarrassed. When we're caught fully undressed we feel exposed.

When our children are very little, we select their clothing for them, so what they wear is more an expression of us than them, but before long they begin to have an opinion, often a strong one. On any given day, there will be at least a handful of kids who arrive at school "in costume." Some version of a princess is probably the most common around Woodland Park, but you can almost always find capes, wings, and various types of headgear as well. Our daughter had a collection of crowns and between the ages of two and five, she would not leave the house without one. 


But even the kids in t-shirts and jeans are, in a way, trying on a costume. "Teacher Tom, look at my flower dress!" "Today I'm wearing my Thor shirt!" "These are my Teacher Tom pants!"

We can properly see these costumes as aspirational or imitative, aspects of a child's efforts to play around with aspects of their world in an instinctive effort to understand them, but we can also view it as the beginnings of their efforts to come to grips with the relationship between clothing and self. 

Does changing our clothing change us? I know many people who insist that it does, that if they are dressed a certain way, they "feel" differently and therefore behave differently. I've even known people who insist that wearing certain underwear changes them in some way. We all have our own take on this, but it's not something we're born with: it's something important that we've had to learn.

I'm not a fan of dress codes, especially for young children who are in the midst of learning about the transformative magic of clothing. When adults impose clothing upon children, we violate, in a very real sense, not just their bodily autonomy, but their right to become, for a moment a day or a lifetime, the "kind of person" they want to be.

******

If you liked reading this post, you might also enjoy one of my books. To find out more, Click here! 
"Ready for a book that makes you want to underline and highlight? One that makes you draw arrows and write 'THIS!!!!!' in the margin? Then you are in for a treat." ~Lisa Murphy, M.Ed., author and Early Childhood Specialist, Ooey Gooey, Inc.

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Monday, September 20, 2021

"Bad Guys"


Most years, there are play themes chosen by our five-year-olds that cause concern. Usually, it's some version of "bad guy" play -- pirates, zombies, spies, superheroes. A couple years back, they were going with the generic "bad guy," which largely played itself out as making fierce faces, posing threateningly, and attempting to capture one another, although it sometimes took the form of attempting to dam up the "river" others were creating in the sand pit.

Typically, the concerns come up because other children begin to report, either to me or to their parents at home, that they're afraid of the "bad guys." It's a delicate balance between the perfectly normal interest of some children to explore the dark side of power and human nature and the perfectly valid desire to not be fearful at school, especially given that some kids are still working out the line between "real" and "pretend." Our parent community had been discussing the subtleties of how we should address this balance for a couple months, both formally and informally, and we had engaged in a lot of playground the circle time discussions among the kids as well, but one day Francis brought things to a head by proposing that we make a new rule: "No bad guys."

The children at Woodland Park make their own rules, a process that requires consensus. When Francis suggested her new rule, dueling cries rose up from those present, one side supporting her and the other against. It was clear that there would be no consensus, but that didn't mean it wasn't a good prompt for a public discussion, one that I hoped would at least get everyone's cards out on the table.

Once everyone settled down, we began to take turns by raising hands and sharing our thoughts on this proposed legislation. It became quickly evident to me that most of the children were actually in favor of banning "bad guy" play, with a small group of boys committed to continuing their favored game. 

I said, "I have an idea, how about everyone who wants to make the no bad guys rule move to that side of the rug and everyone who wants to keep playing bad guys move to that side." 

Gio piped up, "And if you don't care, sit in the middle," a move of diplomatic genius given that he had friends on both sides of the divide. 

My knee-jerk idea had been to create a visual demonstration for our "bad guys" that showed that they were in the minority. Even with a large block of kids choosing the non-commital position in the center of the rug, it was immediately clear that most of the kids with an opinion were all for banning bad guy play, with only five boys remaining staunchly against Francis' proposed rule.

We started with those in favor of the rule, giving them, one-by-one, the opportunity to tell the "bad guys" how their play made them feel, most of whom said they either felt afraid or angry. It was an oddly quiet and sincere five minutes during which everyone seemed to genuinely be listening to one another. As they spoke, some of the kids in the middle shifted to that side. 

When they were done, I turned to the "bad guys," asking, "And why do you guys like playing bad guys?" Each of them took a turn making their case, citing "fun" as their main support, although several made the point that it was "just pretend." A couple of the fence sitters moved to their side.

I then said, "We can't make Francis' rule because everyone doesn't agree, but some people are afraid and some people think it's fun. What can we do?"


After some discussion, most of which was just restatements of the already established pros and cons, the "bad guys" made what I thought was a brilliant and magnanimous offer, "How about we can be bad guys, but we act like good guys." This received widespread approval, but there remained a new minority of those who still supported an all-out ban. By this time, most of the kids were sitting in the middle of the rug, growing restless.

We had been at this discussion for quite some time. We had had a terrific air-clearing discussion in which everyone made their case. But now we were at a logger-head. It was obvious that the matter was not going to be addressed via the formal rules, at least not on this day.

I said, "It looks like we're not going to be able to make a new rule. Some people still want to play bad guys and some people still want them to stop."

And Gio piped up, "And some people don't care."

"And some people don't care . . . But I will remind everyone that we already have an important agreement that we sometimes forget." I turned toward the list of rules we have mounted on the wall: "We all agreed, don't do anything to anybody before you ask them." I turned to the bad guys, "That means you have to ask people before being bad guys to them." I then turned to the rest of the kids, "And I want the rest of you to remember that it's just pretend and that you can always just tell the bad guys to stop." With that I looked back at the bad guys for their agreement on this point, "Right?" They nodded.

Later, when we moved from indoors to outdoors, I was prepared to help the children by reminding everyone about our discussion, but it was unnecessary because, for the first time all year, the "bad guys" chose to make mud soup with our playhouse kitchen supplies, while others swept sand back into the sandpit. 

It was clear that we had really listened to one another and it became even more obvious a couple days later when the mother of the "leader" of the bad guys pulled me aside to tell me: "Last night Henry said he wasn't going to play bad guys any more because Francis doesn't like it." And true to his word, for the rest of the year they played "good guys." 

******

If you liked reading this post, you might also enjoy one of my books. To find out more, Click here! 
"Ready for a book that makes you want to underline and highlight? One that makes you draw arrows and write 'THIS!!!!!' in the margin? Then you are in for a treat." ~Lisa Murphy, M.Ed., author and Early Childhood Specialist, Ooey Gooey, Inc.

I put a lot of time and effort into this blog. If you'd like to support me please consider a small contribution to the cause. Thank you!
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Friday, September 17, 2021

Hard Play



Hard work and planning ahead. It's the not-so-secret ingredient to success. 

How did you get so wealthy? Hard work and keeping my eye on the prize.

How did you win the championship? Hard work and lots of practice.

How did you grow your business? Hard work and a good business plan.

Of course, people will also attribute some of their success to others -- spouses, employees, teammates -- and some are humble enough to credit their god, but at the end of the day, it's the hard work, they tell us, that allowed them to separate themselves from the also-rans.


We want our children to learn to work hard, to have grit, to get back up when they fall down, to learn to set goals and strive. We worry when they seem lazy, overly sensitive, easily discouraged, or aimless. Our schools are set up with the values of hard work and planning at their core. We worry when things are "too easy" for a kid, so we have special programs to challenge them. We worry when they don't know how to concentrate on the task at hand, prioritize, or are too easily diverted. We even go so far as the drug children who struggle with this.

By the same token, we tend to shake our heads when someone fails, tut-tutting that they could have worked harder or that they could have had a smarter plan.

Everyone knows that hard work and planning are the keys to the kingdom. Indeed, it's "common knowledge."

But I'm not convinced that hard work and planning pay off. Or rather, I don't believe there is any real evidence that hard work and planning increase one's odds of success any more than, say, natural talent or sheer good luck.

"Work" is one thing, but "hard work" is quite another. The inclusion of the modifier "hard" suggests that this is something we would rather not be doing; that we would much rather be doing something else, but we've put our nose to the grindstone in service to our plan or goal. By its very nature, "hard work" doesn't pay off now, the only moment any of us truly possess, but rather at some point in the non-existent future. In other words, hard work calls for us to sacrifice our certain joys and pleasures on the alter of planning. And as the Yiddish proverb cautions us, "Man plans and God laughs."


No, despite proclamations of the victors, my experience has been that hard work does not inevitably lead to success. Far from it. Plenty of people, most people in fact, work very hard indeed, and success still eludes them. I'm thinking of those single mothers working three minimum wage jobs, but who still can't pull their family out of poverty. I'm thinking of all those minor league baseball players who work their tails off, but never make it to the big leagues. I'm thinking of the 95 percent of small businesses that fail within five years. Cold-hearted critics will say, "Ah, but if only they had worked harder." Or worse, "If only they had worked smarter," which is a dig at their poor planning. But the evidence seems clear to me that hard work and planning are hardly guarantees of success: most of us will still fail in the hard work and planning paradigm, no matter how heavily we mortgage our present to pay for the future.

There are those who will insist that hard work is its own reward. A life doing the things I'd rather not be doing at the expense of things that could bring me joy or satisfaction right now? Sound like flimflammery to me. There a those who warn us "If you don't know where you're going, any road will get you there," but that's a recipe for arriving at a destination only to find you've missed out on the beauty along the way.


Throughout my career as an early childhood educator, a career I never planned for, but rather fell into, I've lived among humans who haven't yet bought into the ethos of hard work and planning. Oh sure, they apply themselves in ways that might look a lot like the proverbial hard work, but because it is entirely self-selected, because it is done in service to the moment rather than some distant goal or objective, we know it as play. Hard play if you will. And unlike hard work, which must come at a cost, hard play is genuinely its own reward. It's how we learn about ourselves, our passions, and what makes us come alive. Hard work is inflexible. The dictate to keep your head down and focus on the prize causes us to ignore the flowers, to set our relationships aside, and to live for an imagined future. Hard play, on the other hand, is infinitely flexible. It ensures that we will stop and smell the flowers, to treasure our relationships, and keeps us anchored in the only thing any of us really have -- Now!

Too often, we adults look at children engaged in hard play, and assume it is our responsibility to impose hard work upon them "for their own good," but we would be much better, I think, to step back and learn from them . . . for our own good. These are the humans who are living authentically. They might not always be happy, but they are successful. They teach us that the real secret to success is hard play and flexibility.

In our society, the "successful" will always claim, in hindsight, that their secret is hard work and planning, but that ignores the vast majority who work hard and plan, yet still find themselves coming up short. 

What I have learned from children is that hard play and flexibility may or may not lead to riches or glory, but it will always leads to success.

******

If you liked reading this post, you might also enjoy one of my books. To find out more, Click here! 
"Ready for a book that makes you want to underline and highlight? One that makes you draw arrows and write 'THIS!!!!!' in the margin? Then you are in for a treat." ~Lisa Murphy, M.Ed., author and Early Childhood Specialist, Ooey Gooey, Inc.

I put a lot of time and effort into this blog. If you'd like to support me please consider a small contribution to the cause. Thank you!
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Thursday, September 16, 2021

Letting The Child Be A Child

 

"Children do not like being incompetent any more than they like being ignorant. They want to learn how to do, and do well, the things they see being done by bigger people around them. This is why they soon find school such a disappointment; they so seldom get a chance to learn anything important or do anything real. But many of the defenders of childhood, in or out of school, seem to have this vested interest in the children's incompetence, which they often call "letting the child be a child." ~John Holt

As a two-year-old, Angus found school disappointing. 

"He likes school," his mother told me one day as we watched him play alone in his own corner of the playground, "But he'd like it a lot better without the other kids." She said it with a chuckle, one that told me she appreciated it as an eccentricity. I didn't tell her that it's quite common for children her son's age to feel that way mainly because to do so would have been to risk robbing her of her delight.

As a cooperative school, Angus' mother was always welcome in the classroom and she had so far opted to be there every day. During the first week of school she told me of how she had prepared Angus by telling him that school was a place where he would learn stuff. He had interpreted this to mean that he was going to learn to drive a Metro bus.

He was passionate about Metro buses. He was disdainful of school busses. And he actively disliked the toy school school busses we had in the classroom. He came by his driving interest honestly. Riding Metro was often how he and his mother spent their days away from preschool. Sometimes they would choose a destination, figure out their route, then execute their plan. Other times, they would simply choose a specific line out of curiosity and ride it to see where it went. 

One day, I told him I needed to get to my doctor's office in Lake City after school and he informed me which buses I would need to take to get there from the school. When I told him I had to go home first, he asked me where I lived, then recalculated based on this new starting point. One day as we played together I began to quiz him on bus routes. "Where does the 62 go?" "How about the 550?" As far as I could tell, he knew his stuff.

After absorbing the disappointment of not getting to learn to drive a bus, he settled into a routine of pretending to be a bus driver, sitting alone, usually with his back to the rest of us, employing whatever circular shaped object he could find as a steering wheel. To be allowed into his private world one had to wait until he "stopped" and opened the door for you. His expectation was then that you sat behind him. He  would then speak to you, eyes forward, hands on the wheel. When he was done with you, he would inform you that you had arrived at your stop, then pantomime opening the door to let you out.

As he got older, he began to "drive" his bus around the playground (i.e., holding his steering wheel and running). Before long he had established several stops. Children would often wait at one of the stops for Angus, who would transport them (i.e., the children ran along behind him) to as near their destinations as the route would allow. He spent one morning making construction paper "Orca Cards," which is what Metro calls its passes, and distributed them to his classmates. It irritated him that he had to make new ones the following day. "They're supposed to keep them in their wallets!" He carried a wallet in which he carried his own real and pretend Orca Cards. Eventually, other children were inspired to start their own bus routes and for a time we had an entire mass transit system on our playground.

As he got older, he became interested in other things, including the other kids, but never did take much of an interest in any of our toys. When he played "construction," he eschewed such childish things as blocks and Legos. He needed real "lumber," a hammer, a saw, and "a lot of nails." I once offered him a yellow costume construction worker helmet, but he rejected it with the wave of his hand. When his attentions turned to insects, only the real things would do. No picture books or plastic bugs for him. He was even suspicious of the lady bugs we raised in the classroom from larva because we kept them indoors rather than outdoors. He didn't use the words "natural habitat," but it was there in his assessment of the situation.

Angus expressed himself well, even as a two-year-old which caused the other adults to consider him "advanced" or even "gifted," but the more I got to know him over the years, the more I came to understand him as simply more "natural" than most of his classmates. I once visited his home. There were no toys in evidence, no safety gates, and no childish art taped up on the walls. The only things that might have caused one to suspect a child lived there were the muddy holes dug in the backyard, the odd collections of household items to be spied around the house, and the bedroom wall covered in framed photographs of Metro busses.

Today, when I hear the expression, "Let the child be a child," Angus is the first person who comes to mind.

******

If you liked reading this post, you might also enjoy one of my books. To find out more, Click here! 
"Ready for a book that makes you want to underline and highlight? One that makes you draw arrows and write 'THIS!!!!!' in the margin? Then you are in for a treat." ~Lisa Murphy, M.Ed., Early Childhood Specialist, Ooey Gooey, Inc.

I put a lot of time and effort into this blog. If you'd like to support me please consider a small contribution to the cause. Thank you!
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Wednesday, September 15, 2021

In The Process Of Becoming Ourselves


The specific collection of atoms that formed me on the day I was born has not existed for decades, yet I've remained me for 59 years and, if history is any guide, I expect to be me until the day I die. 

Even through that afternoon some years ago when I experienced a brief spell of amnesia, brought on by a migraine as far as I can tell, I remained me. I still knew my name, I knew my wife and daughter, my mother, father, brother and sister, but for the life of me, I couldn't identify anyone else. It came upon me as I was looking at my Facebook page. In a flash all those friends became strangers. I was certain that I had, through some fluke, been logged into someone else's page. Still, throughout that experience, there was a continuity that let me know that I was still me, even though a piece of me had been temporarily erased.

It was unsettling nevertheless. There is comfort in knowing the full story of who we are, although I reckon that most of us, at one time or another, have fantasized about turning the page and finding ourselves in an entirely different story. Some of us even act upon it, trying out everything from new addresses to new life partners. We might quit our jobs. We talk about getting a "fresh start," as if wishing to return to the womb in order to begin again with "Once upon a time . . ." 

Sometimes you read about a person, often a criminal on the run, who has gone so far as to assume an entirely new identity. In the end, we learn about them because they've been discovered, but I wonder about the ones who get away with it. Even if they can eventually assume the trappings of a new me, the old me is still there in the story of what came before.

Young children are just beginning to experience themselves as a lifelong story, but we err if we assume that their's is not as rich, deep, and meaningful as our own. These are the foundational chapters being written, the stories they will spend the rest of their lives embracing or rejecting. The temptation is, out of our love for them, to try to steer their stories toward the sunshine and butterflies, and we no doubt should when given the chance. We turn off the scary movies. We shield them from the news. We turn their attentions toward the bright side and try to wrap their anxious visits to the pediatrician in the garments of heroism.

Casey Curran

We should do all of that, of course, but no matter what we do, our children, like all of us, will at times grow dissatisfied with who they are and wish, at least temporarily, to change it. We see it in their dramatic play where they literally try on transformative costumes. We see it as they assume their roles in housekeeping games. We see it when they imitate others. In many ways, they have the advantage over us in that they are children and no one expects them to remain children forever. We know from a very young age that we will grow up to be something else, yet the stories of adult transformation is not nearly so clearly laid out. We tend toward stagnation, especially once when we've achieved one of our "goals," like owning a home or getting married or landing the perfect job. We forget that we are always in the midst of our story.

We take our vacations. We drink too much. We have affairs. We lose ourselves in popular entertainment or books or music, but these "escapes" are more in the spirit of placing a bookmark in our story, only to return to where we've left off. No, what I think I've learned from spending so much time with young children is that I want my own story to be one that is so engaging that I can't put it down. And that means it can't all be sunshine and butterflies. Or rather, sometimes the butterflies must be in my stomach. Sometimes I must head out into a storm. Sometimes I must step off into the unknown. These are the moments of transformation without which that thing that I call "me" cannot move beyond that original collection of atoms.

When we consider a child, we strive to see them for who they are, but we cannot help but consider who they are becoming, because growing and changing is so clearly in the nature of childhood. Too often, I think, we forget that this is also in the nature of life. We are always in the process of becoming ourselves.

******

If you liked reading this post, you might also enjoy one of my books. To find out more, Click here! 
"Ready for a book that makes you want to underline and highlight? One that makes you draw arrows and write 'THIS!!!!!' in the margin? Then you are in for a treat." ~Lisa Murphy, M.Ed., Early Childhood Specialist, Ooey Gooey, Inc.

I put a lot of time and effort into this blog. If you'd like to support me please consider a small contribution to the cause. Thank you!
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