There's a story behind this feather, of course. Possibly of interest to no one but myself. I've had a tumultuous couple of years, flitting from this group of mamas to that group, never finding something or someone that suited my interest. My demands were high and plenty. I demanded that Lotus Bud have freedom to roam and explore with the company of like-minded little ones. I demanded that I find people who share similar parenting aspirations and foibles as myself. I wanted both of us to be an environment of diversity and inclusion. Surely this couldn't be too much to ask for? Ah, but it was.
Recently I had rearranged our schedules to suit both of our needs. I have enrolled Lotus Bud in an extra day of preschool so now she spends time away from me three days a week. I figured that having three days to myself would allow me to finish my work, leaving Tuesday and Thursday open for her adventures and activities.
Yesterday, Tuesday, I left the house without turning on my computer or checking my email. We headed to North Mississippi Regional Park where there are fantastic children's activities and an even better indoor nature-centered play area. It is not a play area with slides and climbing walls, but rather an area filled with feathers and turtles, plastic vegetables and the most adorable wearable wings. It was the perfect place to spend the entire morning on a chilly, sub-zero temperature day. We met one of her Montessori preschool buddies and, she, her friend, brought along her Dad - a person who I have really enjoyed getting to know and it tickles me that I met him through my daughter. I am finally finding activities and people who fill those needs of mine.
The morning's planned activity was cancelled but that didn't stop us from playing. But soon enough the place got overrun by a small group from a different preschool, one that is boasted about, one very elite, expensive preschool. The memory of that morning bears noting because it was then that I realized the benefits of Montessori education which is indeed diverse and inclusive. Lotus bud and her friend O were caring and compassionate, collaborative and cooperative, trying to be inclusive and generally happy playing by themselves, away from me and the other Dad. In contrast the other children were quite disruptive, tantrum-y and (can I just say it?) rude. At one point, an older boy grabbed a stuffed fish from Bud's hand and threw it across the room. His parent glared at me for soothingly saying to my child that in life we will encounter unkind actions but we must remain kind and find other things to do. I was calm on the outside, but fuming madly inside.
Anyway, so I hope to never encounter this group again. The park we went to was in North Minneapolis, a part of town that many of these folks would never ordinarily venture. I believe it was morning designed for me to learn a lesson and that lesson is this: Montessori education values high social IQ and that is a good foundation for creating caring and compassionate adults. I was shocked with the recent tuition hike at Bud's school which comes close to our monthly mortgage payment, but now I know it is well worth the cost.
Oh, and also, I learned I have an awesome child!!!