This September, Henry started at Dandelion, and that has been this incredibly surreal thing. It feels like suddenly my time as a mom to babies is done. Being at the comforting, beautiful place that Dandelion is feels like having a doula help me through this reality. On the first day of school, I was participating and Sonia, one of the teachers was gently washing a chicken whose backside really needed a bath. The circle of children sat around her outside under the tree and watched. She put Daisy in a bin of warm water and I helped hold her while Sonia said very kindly "I'm going to wash you now, Daisy". And set to work with her soap and rag. I thought about how she used that best practice for working with all the vulnerable--babies and small children, the elderly, those who need assistance from others in cleaning themselves--in her interaction with the chicken. And I felt so grateful to hear those words. It doesn't matter that Daisy is a chicken. It was more of a way of interacting with the whole world with respect for living things. I felt glad that was what I was learning and what all my kids have learned from starting their foray into the wide world at Dandelion. Way back when, when Lily was 3, I knew we needed a co-op preschool because of the lower cost, but I have found my years at Dandelion to be just what I needed in so many more ways. I've learned about parenting, about community, about plants, chickens, child development, about true play. And honestly, my time working on the board, learning with the parents from the speakers at parent meetings, and learning from Abby and Sonia has been such a part of my path toward nurturing children's spirituality as a fundamental practice in my job at CWOW, at home with my kids and hopefully, in my interactions with all the children I meet.
And it was my birthday earlier this month and Lily gave me this amazing card.