Ah! It´s been such a long time since I wrote my last post here. But I have two great excuses.
First. Not that I haven´t been writing. My written words were abducted by Spanish speaking winds flowing towards southern destinies. That´s all.
Second. Not that I have forgotten you. In fact I tend to think of you quite often. I think of interesting posts, of profound discussions, of research issues I´d love to share with you. The problem is all this thoughts arise when I´m involved in watery tasks such as taking a bath or washing dishes. For some reason water illuminates the English region of my brain. Today, it happened again. But I didn´t let it go. I hastily wiped my hands and sat at the PC.
Here I am. Ready to share with you a secret: I thought I was good for kids. I thought being a teacher was my gift, my special way of being unique. And I was convienced kids would benefit from my dedication and love, from my creativity, my humor and knowledge. There I was, ready to become a bridge to introduce young children into their first stepst beyond their homes, starting to discover the world. I felt selfconfident and reliant. Hapiness was my constant companion, I was such a good teacher.
Then, I lost my job at school and everything lost sense. I felt confused and was depressed… Not knowing what to do, where to start again or if I´ll have the strenght to even try. My loving husband, my beloved companion, was there to stand by me. Not pushing, not insisting, not complaining. Just supporting.Then a friend reminded me of an old dream: to start my own educational project, based on free play for young kids… I smiled at her but turned my sight away… What if I failed?
She insisted though. One day I met her at the railway station and she said:
– Today at 5pm my daughter and I will be at your place. Start inviting other kids.
That afternoon three kids came to play. Ah… It was so beautiful, they had so much fun just playing with the few elements I offered to them. They waved by-by determined to come back next Friday, same time. That was the first step.
Then I came to hear about Pikler, I started reading Janet Lansbury´s blog on Magda Gerber´s Educare concept and attended a few local Workshops. My family helped me to build La Casa Naranja, a play-group school based on Pikler and Gerber´s ideals.
Slowly parents started flowing towards La Casa Naranja searching for a reliable place where their babies could play with other children. Many of them found here an extension of the harmony lived at home but some where under great stress, despite been so young: having standed severe illness, family grief, exclusion or abuse.
This made me doubt. I doubted my self, I doubted how good I could be for them. I tended to get talkative, to interrupt their play. Probably I needed to feel I had everything under control. Very soon I learned I couldn´t control and respect babies at the same time. So I patiently trained myself to let go and my inner tension was eased. The play-groups grew in harmony, free play and respect.
As time passed by I realized I had to focus on my heart to establish a real connection with my young students. After some time my mind slowed down, my heart opened wide. A sunny autumn morning, after a play group, I felt happiness was back. Babies had done the magic. They never roam in the mental field, they only reign in the authenticity of the heart and that´s the only language they speak. So I had to surrender to my heart to be able to communicate with them with authenticity.
I remember I was sitting on the coach, at the entrance. I could still hear little voices chatting with their parents while getting into the car. And there it was: happiness was back.
Just then, a deep revelation stroke my mind: all of my life, I had thought I was good as a teacher. I used to feel proud thinking kids could benefit from my “teaching gift”. Might be right, might be wrong, but it was irrelevant now. As far as I was concerned, I had discovered something way more important: children were good for me. They healed my pain and showed me the map to conquer the longest travel on Earth: from my grief-stricken mind up to the deep love in my heart. And I praise Life, Love and Lord for that. My gratitude will never be enough.