Meeting Them Right Where They're At

1:20 today and I said goodbye to my preschool families, locked the back gate behind me and went inside, leaving the door open to get some fresh air into the house. Fed the cat, set dishes in a bubbly sink to soak, threw the pile of preschool laundry into the washer and tweaked the knob to start the machine, then back upstairs to wash dishes, contemplate where drying artwork should go, and checked the email. Well, maybe I checked the email first, before the dishes, but everyone else gets a ten minute break every four hours, and I needed one. Somehow, two-thirty rolled around and so I took my snack of tea, crackers and goat's brie out into the backyard and sat on a huge cedar round and basked. I listened to the repeated melodic chirps of Sweetie-Tweetie, the song sparrow who perches and sings in the neighbor's yard. I pondered the beetles and bugs running through the grass, sun shining on their black enamel backs. Our big Gus Kitty came out and sniffed the air, content to just enjoy being quiet.

It's an exercise, I've decided, in meeting everyone where they're at. My husband's tired, and I plan on sending him off to a gathering this weekend, sans child. I would love to go, but plan on staying home. Kiddo's like Velcro these days, transitioning to four and whiny as anything but still needing lots of Mama love.  Two of my three in my preschool have new babies coming to their houses; one has arrived, and one is due in a week or so. I see their additional need for independence, space and down time. This is one reason I love running a small program: sometimes, children experience preschool as a break from home and need quiet places to play and work alone. Being aware of all these changes is important, and being thoughtful about how to go about helping children who need a little more creative thinking from us at these times is good for me. It eases my interactions, infuses them with more understanding and patience than I might have.

I know what I need too. I'm a bit tired and looking forward to a night out with a girlfriend. We are going to go drink something good and laugh at ourselves and those things that are just bugging us. I'm trying to meet myself where I'm at too, and so it won't be a late night. Being patient with my son can really take it out of me, and I'm needing a bit more sleep. But somehow we are making it. I love the kids I work with, I love my son and very much love my husband. So, I'm trying to be mindful in making sure we're all being taken care of. It feels like a big group-hug of good intention and some sort of spiritual practice right now. Let's hope I can stay successful with it.


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