Just the other day, I was feeling an uncommon pang in my heart. It almost felt like grief, loss or mourning. It hurt a little bit and it was hard to focus. I realized the pang was an intense surge of love for my children. I wanted them by my side. My youngest daughter recently turned 13. That feeling of loss was a settling of a transformation and re-orientation of my motherly love. She’s growing up. We’ve moved through all the stages, from the preciousness and exhaustion of infancy to the relentless chasing and adorableness of toddlerhood through the curiosity and distance during their teen years when she is so often in her room with the door closed. As parents, the quality of our love bends and flexes with each phase.
Love is a moment and a journey. It is self-sufficient and requires nurturing. It can inspire levity or heaviness. It allows us to see and understand deeply or be blinded.
I am blessed and proud that my daughter is also on a love journey with her experience here at Golden Bridges School. She started here as a preschooler and will be graduating in 2025. As the quote above states, love is central to the educational experience. Love from the teachers, love within the curriculum, love in the classroom, and love of nature.
We protect and advocate for who and what we love. If our teachers are tasked with discovering love for their students, their ability to nurture them is stronger. If the curriculum is filled with stories, activities, and lessons that illustrate love, the students embody those teachings. If the classroom ethos is to share kindness and respect, the class builds cohesion. If the children are taught land stewardship and have the opportunity to play in nature, they will become advocates for environmental well-being.
A couple of years ago, our faculty welcomed musical activist Melanie DeMore to sing with our faculty. She led us in an energetic rendition of her song “Put One Foot in Front of the Other”. With clapping and swaying, we sang out “Put one foot in front of the other and lead with love!” While this song was written the day after the 2016 election, it continues to be a rallying cry for us as educators and for myself, as a parent.
Let’s harness these moments of love. Let them give us strength, courage, and compassion. Our children need it, we need it, our earth needs it.
Wishing you a month filled with love.