Today I met with a new client who runs a play-based childcare center. The facility is quite unlike any childcare center I’ve ever seen. The main floor plan was open with half-wall dividers delineating separate spaces without completely blocking sight and hearing lines, and separate classrooms for infants and pre-kindergarteners. When I arrived at the center, the preschool class was getting ready to go outside to play. The owner needed to
extinguish some fires attend to a few matters, so while I waited I decided to introduce myself to some of the students.
As I shook several four-year-old hands in succession, I felt like the mayor of preschoolville. They took turns showing me their books (Peppa Pig and Huckle Cat), sunglasses, and purple gloves. One asked if I had a dog (I didn’t) and another offered to let me borrow one of hers. My client cleared a child-height table for us to meet at (albeit with grown-up chairs), and while I waited, some other kids came over to peek into my bag. You would think that a somewhat cheesy but unexpectedly squeaky-clean romance novel (“Why aren’t there any pictures?”), some highlighters (“Do you like to color?”), and a bottle of ibuprofen (“Why do you need medicine?”) were treasures from Ali Baba’s cave. One child tried to convince me his name was Cool, which honestly would have been fine with me.
I’m thankful for the unconditional love and uninhibited curiosity of small children. I’m thankful for the patience and lovingkindness of the teachers and aides at my client’s center and at the daycare Fire Monkey attends. And I’m thankful for every stage of childhood that I get to experience with our son.