The 2014-2015 school year is well underway. The smiles and laughter of our children in their classrooms and on the playgrounds affirm it all for me. On Tuesday – our first day back – I put a clown nose on during carpool, greeting parents and children alike as everyone bounded on to our campus. That same afternoon I visited classes (disrupted is more like it!) and took “First Day Selfies” with many of our children as they crowded around me to get in the picture. Several students (and adults) who remember my first day at TCS on May 1, 2013 brought up my Mickey Mouse hands and whether I will wear them to carpool the next day. It was clear in those conversations that my Mickey Mouse hands had left quite the impression, just like the 900+ views of my First Day Selfies album will also attest about my clown nose.
It was on Tuesday visiting classes and basking in those hugs and smiles all over campus that I engaged with the child within me. When students come to my office – our youngest or oldest – they frequently remark on the Legos and Buzz Lightyear figures I have on a desk. One sixth grader last year commented that he could move out of his house and live in my office on a permanent basis! Another fifth grader, when visiting with his class this summer, left my office telling his friends that I had the “coolest office ever!” And just yesterday, our three year-olds in Debbie, Frank, and Sarah’s class saw Buzz on my desk and invited me to each of their homes so we could watch Toy Story together!
The child is still alive within me and it’s when I’m around children that he jumps out. So I ask you, have you discovered the child in you? As I consider the troubles our world faces today – violent conflicts in our city and nation as well as in other countries and regions – I wonder both about the loss but also the discovery of childhood within all of us. If we engaged with our most positive, curious, and innocent selves – what children offer us here at The Children’s School every single day – would we be a safer world? Our adult-sized egos and pettiness drive all good things away, and I daresay that only the love of a child, that excitement and wonder in her eyes, can bring them back.
My wish for all of us then, this year, is to discover the child within; in those moments when our adult troubles stress our capacities to connect and build relationships, I hope you will do your best to see the world through your child’s eyes and the eyes of the child in you.
Welcome to the 2014-2015 school year!
For the children,