So today was the day. Last month I signed up to vounteer at my Girl’s school, the lovely Petite Maison Montessori, where my kids have been going for the past 3 years. As I’ve mentioned in the past, it’s an incredible environment of learning and laughter, and I was super-excited to observe my funny Girl in this milieu.
I arrived at 1pm sharp, Skinny Hazelnut Latte in hand. A little afraid of being surrounded by 20+ toddlers, I was shocked at how quiet it was! Not only were the kids completely focused on their work – a writing exercise with metal inserts – they were polite, respectful and deferential to the teachers. Wow. Those three adjectives I used in that last sentence are not words that WOULD COME CLOSE to describing my kids’ behaviour at home.
Next, one of the teachers gave me some work to do that entailed chopping larger pieces of construction paper into smaller pieces. Would you believe that the process of completing that simple task was the most peaceful hour of my week? The room was calm – the only distinct sounds being the hushed voices of children completing their work and my scissors chopping through the sheets of orange and green paper. Focused on cutting and sorting, I felt my anxieties dissipate (at least temporarily) into the air.
This afternoon, I very acutely remembered how much I had loved my own school experience. The classroom life, surrounded by intellectual challenges and creative endeavours, had been so rewarding and beneficial. Being in that microcosm again today, I was transported to another school 30 odd years ago, where my own education began and blossomed.
While I was working, my Girl came over and kissed me, laying her head on my shoulder. We shared a silent moment and I then encouraged her to go back to her work. Soon, it was time for the kids to do yoga and for me to leave – groceries and laundry beckoned. A sweet afternoon – I look forward to doing it again.