Wednesday, April 18, 2012

One Of Those Work-A-Day Miracles

While her classmates most often seek to build vertically with our unit blocks, Grace has lately been experimenting, on her own, with a horizontal style of building. While the others have been struggling with structures that inevitably topple over, hers, low to the ground, built upon a solid foundation, tend to endure until someone else comes by and dismantles it piece-by-piece, carrion for another project.

This one in particular she built as a challenge for herself, an obstacle over which to leap. Soon a few of her classmates took notice, and being physically less certain than Grace, they wanted a turn as well, but they were going to walk across. Not only did she accommodate them, but she coached them on where to step, where the "soft spots" were in her structure, then began bringing new blocks to augment and stabilize what was already there.

More friends joined in the project of bringing blocks. At first Grace was telling them where to put the new blocks, but soon they knew what to do all on their own. She had, perhaps without knowing it, made them the gift of her project, and now it was theirs.

When a confrontation arose between two of her friends, none of these young 3-year-olds turned to look at either of the two adults who were just watching from across the rug. Grace listened, then said, "You are putting the block there, but Audrey says to put it over there." When they both sat, still too frozen with stubbornness to act, Grace picked up the block in question and put it where she thought it ought to go, then everyone got back to work.

At first they said among themselves that they were building a "floor."

Then a bit later, Grace suggested they were building a city: low to the ground and built upon a solid foundation. 

In the world one reads about in newspapers, or more likely these days here on the internet, or hear about on the radio, or see on TV, it seems a miracle when people work together to accomplish anything. It is, however, in this real world, like the miracle of a seed growing into a flower, one of those work-a-day miracles, far too common to make the news.

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