Our blog is inclusive of all of us here at The Heart School. It focuses on "we", yet just this one time I'm going to start from a more personal place. I wrote this two years ago for a blog post at Little Earth where I used to teach. I was pregnant with my wee guy, who recently turned two. I thought I will share it with you here as I still feel it is relevant for most of us.
I am in a sort of limbo at present, awaiting the arrival of my second baby. I am restless, impatient even, wishing him to come, and thinking everyday - will today be it? It is so hard to stay in the present moment with such anticipation, and I know that in feeling this way I'm missing many little moments, sacrificing them for want of something bigger.
Surely this is the same for all of us teachers when we are always looking into our children's future, waiting for them to achieve something specific or waiting for some stage to finally end?
How much of the journey do we miss if we are focused on a set destination?
If all we can see is a toilet trained child as a goal, do we remember to celebrate the smaller moments of independence on the way to this giant step? If we can't wait for a child to be reading, are we noticing their spontaneous joy in everyday play moments, or are we wishing they'd hurry and put their focus into mastering literacy skills? Wishing for something yet to come leaves us unsettled, impatient and evidently, we miss so much.
We have to trust that just like this beautiful baby of mine will know when his time is right, so do our older children. They know when they are ready for something particular to be learned or developed.
They know their own "ready".
We can have visions in mind of where a child may go. We can prepare our environment to offer those things we can see the children are interested in. What we can't do is force our own agenda. A child will not learn simply because we wish them to, for our own sake. Real learning needs a relationship and emotional security which are only strong when children feel heard and appreciated for who they are right now. When children see we trust them, they learn they are capable of anything.
They need to know we will walk this journey WITH them, and not force them to just follow behind on the path we've chosen for them.
They need to follow their own inner GPS.
Being more present with our children allows us to ENJOY them. Just as I need to enjoy each baby movement without just dreaming of the 'big day', our children need us to enjoy their 'what is'. They need us to enjoy seeing their fascination with watching a bug without wishing for the day they'd sit and read a book about insects. We need to enjoy the connection we have right now, without willing it to be something more, something further ahead.
Being in the moment, in THEIR moment, tells our children that what they are right now is enough.
This little baby to be feels my unsettledness. I'm sure if he could talk to me he'd be saying, "trust me Mama". That's what all our children need. Trust. Trust takes away the unsettledness. Trust allows us to be open to what is now and forget about focusing on the what isn't yet. Trust strengthens the relationship and let's the joy in!